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.
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.
[Related items: 2012.1.2, 2012.1.506, 2014.1.446ab, 2016.1.44]
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.