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front: Image of crowd of people, mostly children, gathered around a doorway to a building.
back: “Editors: This picture is being used by the New York Mirror in its Monday (Dec. 10th) editions to illustrate the Himmler story being sent you by INS.
MR1030174_Watch your credit…International News Photo Slug (Children’s Home – Rabbi Levine)
Haven of children orphaned by Nazi Brutality – Aix-Les-Maines, France……The day many of these children, orphaned by Nazi brutality, have been waiting for finally arrives. They are about to enter a home free of the horrors of concentration camps. Rabbi Isaac Levine, of New York City, representative of the Vaad Hatzala of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Candada, is shown nailing a mezuzah (a scroll intended to protect a home from harm) on the door of the Children’s home of Agudas Horabbonim at Aix-Les-Mains, France. The woman in the black hat is believed to be Mrs. Isaac Sternbuch, wife of the Swiss underground leader, who played such an important role in rescuing refugees from the Nazis.”
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:
Isaac and Recha Sternbuch were Orthodox Jews and business owners living in Bern, Switzerland throughout WWII. They were Swiss representatives of Vaad Hatzalah, the American Union of Orthodox Rabbis rescue committee. Recha was a tireless and persistent activist helping Jewish refugees in Switzerland, sending aid packages to Jews in Poland and Czechoslovakia, and smuggling refugees turned away by Swiss border guards. Following closely what was happening in the Nazi occupied countries in Europe, she alerted Jewish leaders in the United States to the deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto.
Working with Polish ambassador Alexander Lados and Julius Kuhl of the Lados group in Bern, the Sternbuchs helped secure Latin American passports for Jews. Remarkably, in the last months of the war Recha was able to negotiate through Jean Marie Musy, former President of Switzerland and friend of Heinrich Himmler, an exchange of money for Jewish prisoners. Before the deal was shut down by collaborators, she was able to extricate 1200 Jews from the concentration camp Theresienstadt to Switzerland.
This press photo is post-World War II, possibly late 1945 or 1946. Recha Sternbuch is shown with her young charges: surviving Jewish children retrieved from non-Jewish orphanages, convents, and private homes. She is placing “… these children, orphaned by Nazi brutality” in a children’s home “free of the horrors of concentration camps.” She is pictured with “Rabbi Isaac Levine, a New York representative of Vaad Hatzalah … shown nailing a Mezuzah on the door of the children’s home of Agudas Horabbonim at Aix-Les-Mains (sic), France.”
6 5/8 x 8 1/2"
Recha Sternbuch, Isaac Sternbuch, Vaad Hatzala, Jean Marie Musy, Hein Rich Himmler, Alexander Lados
"Recha Sternbuch and Orphaned Children in Aix-Les-Bains, France" (1945). Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection. 2023.1.12.