1943 saw the gradual collapse of the Nazi regime until its surrender in May, 1944. Despite losing the war in the East, and irrespective of the diversion of necessary resources from the war effort, Hitler continued to relentlessly prosecute the Final Solution of the Jews in the concentration camps and ghettos, murdering as many as 10,000 per day in the Auschwitz gas chambers alone . Many attempted to rescue Jews from Nazi extermination at great risk to their own safety, and over 13,000 have been recognized as “Righteous Gentiles” for their deeds. Rescuers include diplomats Raoul Wallenberg, Carl Lutz, and Hiram Bingham; Oscar Schindler; and Pastor Andre Trochme. The citizens of Denmark hid Jews and ferried them to safety in neutral Sweden, saving most of Denmark’s 8000 Jews. In the fall of 1944, the Nazis began the evacuation of Auschwitz, and as the Allies advanced in 1945, all camps were evacuated under Himmler’s orders, resulting in many thousands of deaths from the so-called “death marches”. At the end of the war more than 200,000 survivors were living in the Allied zones of occupation in DP (Displaced Persons) camps. They could not return home and thus remained until emigration could be arranged to either Palestine or to other countries willing to absorb the refugees.
This collection features passports, visas and other documents of diplomats and others who saved Jews, including Friedrich Born, Frank Foley, Feng Shan Ho, Vlademar Langlet, Carl Lutz, Monsignor Angelo Rota, Andrey Szeptycki, Angel Sanz-Briz, Chiune Sugihara, Raoul Wallenberg,Carl Ivan Danielsson and Jan Zwartendijk. Also noteworthy is an assemblage of ephemera—photos, covers, letters, etc.- from the Bergen-Belsen (D.P. Hohne) Displaced Persons Camp (1946-1948); and covers from organizations such as the AJDC , IRO and UNRRA, established to provide aid and assistance to Jewish refugees.
--Michael D. Bulmash, K1966
Browse the Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection.
Note marked “NSDAP” in black print in top left corner, date “6/3/45” written in purple in top right corner, signed “Heil Hitler! Rossmann, Gemeinschaftsleiter der NSDAP.” [Related item: 2019.2.232]
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: The Volkssturm was established in October 1944 as a militia utilizing males between the ages of 16 and 60 who were not otherwise serving in the Wehrmacht or other military units. They were under the control of the Nazi party and its officials (Gauleiters) with Himmler as commander. The Volkssturm was used extensively during the defense of Berlin against an overwhelming Russian army.
Berthold Allwardt was pressed into service as a 37-year-old in Berlin, and in all probability fought in the Battle of Berlin.
This document is a form from the local Nazi party group in Wiesbaden, signed by the Nazi party community leader Rossmann two months before the end of the war, which states that the Volkssturmmann’s (name illegible) successful medical exam allows him to serve in his unit.
"PROTOKOLL" in black print and underlined in upper left corner, eight pages, two holes punched in left side, "NR. 13. VII. 1945" in black print and underlined in upper right corner.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Copy of a post WWII narrative given in German by a Slovakian woman Katharina Lorbeer to the Hungarian National Committee for Attending Deportees, describing her deportation to Auschwitz, and her experiences there. She is transported to Auschwitz by railcar in April 1942. Beaten by SS guards as the prisoners exit the train, Lorbeer and fellow prisoners are marched across the men’s section of the camp to the women’s barracks. All belongings are confiscated save one dress and underwear. Along with other women from Slovakia, she is tattooed, her hair is shorn, and her remaining clothes confiscated. She receives lice-ridden uniforms taken from executed Russian soldiers along with wooden shoes. They are taken out to the central yard for roll call, which lasts until past midnight. Lorbeer and her fellow inmates are put to work loading sand onto railcars. She does this for six months, guarded by Jewish “kapos” from the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Rumors persist that they will soon be sent to brothels at the front for German soldiers. In December, they are tasked with carrying bricks for the construction of a new crematorium. She describes a visit by SS chief Heinrich Himmler in December of 1942, in whose honor 50 randomly selected male prisoners are hanged. Lorbeer states that while the camp commander had allowed the prisoners to wear shoes to protect against the bitter cold, Himmler stated that “there is no good or bad weather for inmates,” and decreed that prisoners are to always work shoeless regardless of weather conditions. Moved to the subcamp of Birkenau, Lorbeer finds no latrines, dirt floors in the barracks, and miserable conditions in general. She is in “sumpfkommand” (“swamp commando”) draining the surrounding marshlands. With no access to drinking water, she is forced to rely on water from the swamp, into which the SS guards regularly dump truckloads of ash from the crematorium. Such conditions make diseases such a typhus common. Lorbeer describes the selection of prisoners to be executed in the gas chambers, early in 1943 as 35,000 women in the camp are gathered in the courtyard at two in the morning, as SS doctors Mengele, and others gather by the gate. The prisoners are made to pass through the gate with their hands outstretched, and any prisoner with reddened palms or demonstrating any kind of limp is selected for immediate execution. Only 5,000 women pass muster. Such selections continue daily, although Birkenau is slowly expanded and gains a proper sewer system, leading to improved hygiene. By this time, however, Lorbeer reports that veteran inmates like herself have become apathetic and sluggish, and would be happy to be selected to put an end to their misery. Lorbeer recounts the rumors of horrific medical experiments being performed in Block 10 of Auschwitz, especially on new arrivals. With the advance on the Soviet Army in January 1945, the prisoners are evacuated on a forced march to Ravensbruck, during which hundreds of prisoners starve to death or are shot by guards. From Ravensbruck, they are transported to the subcamp of Retzow. Lorbeer and her companions hide from a further transport from Retzow, and are eventually liberated by Red Army soldiers on May 1st, 1945. Of the 15,000 Slovakian women transported in 1942, only 300 survive.
Tan paper with printed black text and a purple circular hand stamp in upper lefthand corner.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Unused food package card with violet triple ring cachet "CAMP D'INTERNMENT DE DRANCY." Drancy was a high-rise apartment complex in the northeast suburb of Paris in the 1930’s before the Nazis confiscated it and utilized it a an internment camp to hold Jews and other “undesirables” who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered including 6,000 children. The Vichy government under Petain and Laval cooperated with Nazi Germany, hunting down foreign and French Jews and turning them over to the Gestapo for transport to the Third Reich's extermination camps. Drancy was under the control of the French police until 1943 when administration was taken over by SS and officer Alois Brunner. With his arrival came the need to increase deportations to Auschwitz. Drancy at its peak held more than 7,000 prisoners. The brutality of the French guards in Drancy and the harsh conditions imposed on the inmates is well known. For example, upon their arrival, small children were immediately separated from their parents for deportation to the death camps. The On 6 April 1944, SS First Lieutenant Klaus Barbie raided a children's home in Izieu, France, where Jewish children had been hidden. Barbie arrested everyone present, all 44 children and 7 adult staff members. The next day, the Gestapo transported the arrestees to Drancy. From there, all the children and staff were deported to Auschwitz. None of them survived.
Front: Tan postcard with message written in purple pencil. Back: Black printed postcard lines with writing in purple pencil. Includes a purple hand stamp on bottom left, and several black hand stamps on top right, and a pasted purple stamp of Hitler in profile at the top right.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: One of four cards (2015.2.105 -.108) with Deutsches Reich franking on card from Birkenau to Prague, bearing 5 line "Rukanwort nur auf Postkarten in deutscher Sprach uber die Reichvereiningung der Juden in Detuschland..." 1944. Among the many deceptions used by the Nazis to deflect rumors and reports regarding liquidation of Jews, Operation Mail or Briekaktion was utlized in Auschwitz. The victims were required to write postcards home indicating that they were in good health and that "resettlement" was fine. They were typically not registered or not given prisoner numbers. What distinguishes these cards are the following: 1. The same return address of Arbeitslager Birkenau, bei Neu-Berun, Oberschlesien. 2. The mail was taken for processing to Berlin. 3. Cachets were stamped on the correspondence indicating that replies were permitted only through the Association of Jews in Berlin, Germany. 4. The postmark read Berlin-Charlottenburg 2.
Black and white photograph of a dower-looking man in glasses, with his dark hair slicked back, wearing a three-piece suit and tie. The tie has a pearl pin in it, and is askew. Back: Pasted sticker naming Duckwitz a West German personality. Beneath a black handstamp giving copyright to Camera Press.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Press photograph of George F. Duckwitz (1904-1973). Duckwitz had been a German businessman who joined the Nazi Party in 1932. He was eventually assigned to the German embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, as an attaché. After 1942 Duckwitz worked with Werner Best, the Gestapo leader in Copenhagen. The latter informed Duckwitz about an intended roundup of Danish Jews to occur on October 1, 1943. After a failed attempt to stop the deportations through official channels in Berlin, Duckwtiz flew to Sweden and prevailed upon the Prime Minister in Stockholm to receive Danish Jewish refugees. Back in Denmark Duckwtiz was able to inform--through an intermediary--the chief Rabbi of the Danish Jewish community about the intended deportations. Word spread and resulted in sympathetic Danes organizing the escape of over 7000 Jews in boats to Sweden under the nose of the Nazis. At great personal risk to himself, in giving advance warning to the Jewish community of Denmark about the planned deportaitons of Jews, Duckwitz enabled the people of Denmark to help most of its Jews escape in boats to Sweden. He was named Righteous Among Nations by Yad Vashem in 1971 for his efforts on behalf of Jews.
Front: A black and white photograph of high-rise apartments with white text in French.Back: Black printed postcard lines.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Drancy was a 1930's high-rise apartment complex in the northeast suburb of Paris before the Nazis confiscated it and utilized it as an internment camp to hold Jews and other 'undesirables' who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered, including 6,000 children. The Vichy government under Petain and Laval cooperated with Nazi Germany, hunting down foreign and French Jews and turning them over to the Gestapo for transport to the Third Reich's extermination centers.
Front: Color photograph of the courtyard of a church.Back: Blue printed postcard lines and text in French.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: On June 10, 1944, more than 450 women and children were locked in this church by the Nazis, while the men were locked in barns and sheds. The Nazis detonated an incendiary device in the church; anyone attempting to escape was machine-gunned. The men were shot in the legs; no longer able to move, their bodies were covered in gasoline and the barnes were set ablaze. The village of Oradour was partially razed that night.
Front: A black and white photo of barbed wire and brick buildings. Back: Tribune Cut Order information about the photo.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Wire photo identifying the photo as occurring in Poland, probably of a ghetto street, at the forefront of which is a sign that reads "VORSICHT Hochspannung Lebensgefahr" ["DANGER! High voltage will cause death"
Cover: 'Deutches Reich'above and 'Arbeitsbuch' below an eagle. Interior: 32 pages; 1-9 include many hand stamps and handwriting. Pages 10-32 are blank.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Labor booklet for a German Albert Kuschel who worked as a lab assistant in the Robert Koch Institute (of Infectious Diseases) in Berlin. Eugen Gildemeister was a German bacteriologist and, subsequent to the Nazi rise to power, he became Director and Vice-President of this Institute. Gildemeister was involved with pseudo-medical experiments on inmates of Buchenwald, Natzweiler, Sachsenhausen and Dachau. On March 3, 1942, he was present as 145 inmates of KL Buchenwald were willfully infected with Typhus. Five of those inmates died during this experiment; however, he has been held responsible for 250 deaths from his experiments on prisoners. On May 8, 1945, the day of German surrender, Gildemeister committed suicide in Berlin.
Poster in Hungarian titled, "Honvédek!"
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Banner exhorting people to vote for Ferenc Szalasi, the leader of the Arrow Cross (Nylas in Hungarian). The Arrow Cross was the Hungarian fascist party and movement established by Ferenc Szalasi. Like the Nazis, they were strongly nationalistic and militantly opposed to Communism and Jews. Also like the Nazis, they were advocates of agriculture. Szalasi led the Hungarian government after Miklos Horthy was dismissed by the Nazis. The so-called "Government of National Unity" terrorized Hungarian Jews and murdered approximately 10,000 to 15,000 people and deported 80,000 to Auschwitz in a five month period.
Two page document titled, "Lehr=Dertrag" with printed and typewritten information.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Gertrude Katzenstein, a German citizen who was able to escape Nazi Germany and emigrate to America. Items relating to Gertrude Katzenstein: 2012.1.38ab, 2012.1.39, 2012.1.40, 2012.1.94, 2012.1.95ab, 2012.1.566
Illustration of men sitting on bags of money with a soldier between them with Russian text on back.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: A German propaganda flier directed towards Russians, essentially stating that Russians are dying while "kikes" make money.
Leaflet with English text titled, "Up Britain Stop War!"
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: A single-sided leaflet from 1939-1940 opposing British involvement in foreign wars. It was produced by Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists.
Front: Man sitting in front of a mass grave of many bodies. A man in Nazi uniform points a gun at the first man's head. Behind him are a number of soldiers. Along side of image is the following text: 5/2/1961: CHICAGO: Photo obtained by Al Moss, of Chicago, a former Nazi concentration camp prisoner, shows the execution of a Polish Jew by a German officer at a mass grave somewhere in Poland. Moss said he obtained the picture in Munich in May, 1945 soon after his liberation by American 3rd Army troops. He said he wanted the people of the world "to know what went on in Eichmann's time." UPI TELEPPHOTO-psh.--(CHICAGO OUT) -- Back: Handwritten 'Germany' and 'Atrocities'. One red stamp with date of May 5, 1961. One black rectangular stamp 'PLEASE CREDIT UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL PHOTO...'
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Iconic press photograph with commentary of what has come to be known as" Last Jew in Vinnitsa..” The original photograph was allegedly from an Einsatzgruppe D soldier’s album, and these were the words on the back of the photograph, which portrays in all of its gruesome horror the Einsatzgruppen’s preferred means of dealing with the Jews in the Ukraine prior to the industrialized murder perfected at Auschwitz. Almost 35,000 Jews—men, women and children- were murdered here over the course of three Actions, utilizing Ukrainian militia as well. This was their paradigmatic method until the Nazis were able to generalize from their experiments in mass murder in the T-4 Program utilizing more efficient, less disturbing to the delicate sensibilities of the SS men, though no less barbaric, means of managing the “Jewish Problem”.
Four stamps titled, "Save Human Lives." The first has an illustration of a soldier and mechanic with a bearded celestial figure. The second has an illustration of a soldier holding a Jewish man with a Star of David armband. The third shows two children wearing Star of David armbands. The fourth shows a Rabbi holding a Torah.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Arthur Szyk illustrator: labels for the Emergency Committee to Save the People of Europe.
White stamp with black illustration of a man holding a chain with a child and young men. A barbed wire Swastika in the corner. Titled, "Help Us Survive!"
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Szyk label for the Emergency Committee to Save the People of Europe.
White stamp with red illustration of three Jewish people, including a bearded man with a Star of David armband. Titled, "They Shall Not Die.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Szyk labels for the American Federation for Polish Jews.
A black and white photograph of a man in a concentration camp uniform.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Original photo of Jakob Machat taken in Palestine, dressed in his own concentration camp prisoner's uniform. This young man later served as a pilot in the IDF Air Force.Identification for Machat is 2012.1.506.
Group of Jewish Brigade Letters from Corporal A. Sucherman of the 3rd Battalion, Palestine Regiment, to P. Helperin in Tel Aviv
Unbound collection of blue-grey paper with a purple postal stamp in the top right corner of each and a purple crest, British censor, ink stamp. All letters are addressed to “Miss. Halperin P.” Letters are marked with letters "a" through "s" on back in lower right corner. Blank pages are omitted from scans.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:After Churchill agreed to allow the formation of an all-Jewish fighting force to do battle with the Nazis, a Jewish Brigade Group was formed and allowed to fight under a Zionist flag. More than 5,000 Jewish volunteers from the Yishuv in Palestine were organized into three infantry battalions with supporting units. Under the leadership of Ernest Benjamin, the Jewish Brigade was sent to Italy and took a combat role at Alfonsine, and then against the German 4th Parachute Division at the Senio River. Subsequently they were stationed at Tarvisio, where they assisted Holocaust survivors and facilitated their immigration to Palestine. They were an essential part of the Bricha’s efforts to help refugee Jews in Europe immigrate to Mandatory Palestine. More controversial than the role they played with the Bricha and the support of the children of Selvino, were the assassination squads (Nakam) formed with other Holocaust survivors, seeking revenge on the SS and Wehrmacht officers involved in the atrocities against the Jews.
This group of 19 handwritten letters from Cpl. A. Sucherman, Co. “D”, 3rd Bn, Palestine Regiment, were sent to a Miss P. Helperin in Tel Aviv. The letters with integral covers all date between late 1944 and the last days of the war, when the regiment took part in the Italian spring offensive in 1945. All of the letters are in Hebrew and untranslated, and all bear a British military censor’s stamp.
Pink tri-folded paper. Recto has a black and white image of a young man on the left panel and 12 green membership stamps on the right panel that read “NSB” with dates on each. Verso has 8 “NSB” stamps on the left hand panel.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:NSB membership card (Lidmaatschapskaart) issued to C. Steenstraten who registered in the Hague on November 10, 1941, membership no. 98701. Membership stamps indicate that he paid membership fees through August 1944. Verso right panel: “Faith in God, love for people and fatherland, respect for labor”. Verso center panel: “For the moral and physical well-being of a people there is a need for a strong state administration, self-respect of the nation, discipline, order, solidarity of all classes of the population, and the preceding of the general (national) interest above the group interest, and of the group interest above the personal interest”.
The NSB—the Dutch fascist party—was the Dutch equivalent of the German Nazi Party, the NSDAP. Founded in 1931 by Anton Mussert and others, it hewed to an increasingly anti-Semitic line. After the occupation in May 1940, it became the only legal party in the Netherlands. Members zealously aided Germans in locating Jews in hiding, including Anne Frank and her family.