Rapheal Weiss, 62, retired Washington merchant died of a heart condition Sept. 30 at his Silver Spring home.

At his retirement in 1974, he was vice president of the Mark Weiss Camera Exchange here. Mr. Weiss came here from New York to help found the business in 1956.

Born in Cologne Germany he escaped from a Nazi concentration camp in 1937 after more than two years' captivity. He had been sent to the camp for anti-Nazi activities." He escaped across the border into Belgium and stowed away aboard a cattle boat that eventually landed him in this country. He later became a naturalized American citizen.

During and after World War II, he sponsored at least two-dozen Jewish refugees attempting to enter this country as immigrants. Founding the Manhattan Photo Supply Co. in 1944, he employed any refugee in need of work.

Mr. Weiss was a member of Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase.

He is survived by his wife, Johanna, of the home: two daughters, Regina Carmel, of Kensington and Susan Cohen, of Bethesda: a sister, Sara Vogel, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; three brothers,Mark, of Silver Spring, Adolf, of Bovie and Saul of Brooklyn and three grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Jewish National Fund Reforestry Project.