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.
Flier with two columns of text, one in German, one in Polish, respectively titled, "Bekanntmachung!" and "Obwieszczenie!"
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: A flier announcement of the murder of Police Lieutenant Hann on May 22, 1944, near Przeworsk. Ten people were shot immediately as a warning. The flier was signed der SS-und Polizeiführer im Distrikt Krakau (The SS and Chief of Police in the Krakow district). Dual text in Polish and German.
Tan postcard with black printed postcard lines. Addressed to Fritz Osfreicher from Zdenka Rorensky in black ink. Includes message written in black ink.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Postcard sent from Zdenka Korensky, Theresienstadt -- Badhausgasse A to Mr. Fritz Osfreicher, in Prague, with cachet in red regarding mailing instructions for Jews.Translation: "We thank you very much for your package and hope that you will not forget us in the future. We are well and hope that you are too. It would please us very much if we would get a report from you. Please convey our greetings to Hans and his wife and baby. Your Zdenka."
Tan postcard with red printed postcard lines addressed to Kurt Kraemer at the Hotel Krone from Lore Sara Wuga in Nuremberg. Includes typewritten message in German.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: This postcard was postmarked June 24, 1944, two weeks after the D-Day invasion began to liberate Europe from Nazi control. Remarkably, it was written by a Jew living openly in "Nuremberg, the City of the National Party Meeting" -- a city known for particularly virulent anti-Semitism. The return address includes the middle name "Sara," which was required in documents written by Jewish women in order to identify them as such. Fortunately for the widow who wriote this card, she had been married to an Aryan man. Jewish spouses of Aryans had legal protection from anti-Jewish sanctions, but such protection for this woman probably died with her husband. Translation:"My dear ones, now I have finally received your card, it was like a sunbeam into my loneliness. Many thanks therefore. Yes, to be brave. What does it help now, my life has no meaning any more. I have lost my best. I think always on Heinz and everybody, but it is extremely difficult. The days do not want to pass by, they are filled with sadness, tears and worries. My dear husband died in the midst of his work, it was always a great helper to him. He was so diligent up to his last hour. It is very difficult for me to take care of everything. Much of my heart blood do I give, and I now close everything by myself. I'm not myself any more. Heinz will equally be sad, and now he has so many worries. I'm glad, that Freds has good news from his family, but if one would have helped us, then I would not be by myself. At the time there were possibilities. I'll never be able to forgive that. I'm to say hello to you from Else Grünberger, she is in the last mother's home, I have asked about Cäcilie. She will surely write to me. I hope that Jo and Michel are in good health. I also don't hear from Jlse, but she is not very much for writing. The internment of the urn took place last weekend for us. The brother and wives write to me quite often. Brother-in-law Franz was also there. Hearty greetings and kisses to you. Your Lore.
Front: Tan postcard with printed black text in French and writing in purple pencil. Several black and purple hand stamps.Back: Black printed postcard lines and address. Includes several red and black hand stamps, and a blue stripe diagonal across the page.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Unfranked RELICO postcard with censor marks and chemical censor, printed card from Abraham Taub who writes from a work camp Jowischovitz in Upper Silesia to Comite RELICO (The Relief Committee for War-stricken Jews), founded by Abraham Silberschein, in Geneva Switzerland, dated June 24, 1944.
Front: Tan paper with a black illustration of Theresienstadt at the top. Includes black typewritten text, an illustrations of a horse-drawn carriage, and a dove entering through a gate.Back: Black typewritten text going halfway down the page, and illustrations of a tree-lined path, and a man looking through a telescope.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: A self-published bulletin from the Theresienstadt ghetto dated June 24, 1944. Written by the Jewish Council (Altestenrat der Juden) in Theresienstadt-Hitler’s so called “gift to the Jews”-the bulletin typically gave orders and reports to the Jewish inhabitants of the ghetto. The ‘beautification’ referred to as the “Stadtverschonerung” refers to the “beautification” program based on the cynical Nazi effort to sanitize the ghetto in advance of the infamous Swiss Red Cross visit on June 23, 1944, just one day before this bulletin’s publication. This planned visit, and the Nazi response to it, emerged out of Denmark’s pressuring the Nazi’s about the 466 Danish Jews sent to Theresienstadt. To ensure that they were being treated humanely, the Danish government sent two Danish representatives to accompany the Swiss representatives. The Nazis used this occasion to create propaganda and an embellishment campaign that was designed to present the ghetto in a favorable light. To impress the delegates, to create the appearance of a functioning and quasi-autonomous village life for the Jews, shops were opened, including a café and a bank; camp “money” was printed (scrip useless anywhere else) and distributed for Jews to purchase items at the shops. The ruse included cultural events that lasted for one week: soccer games were arranged, orchestral productions, parks were opened, a playground and special food given to the ghetto children, etc. Of course, the massively overcrowded conditions in the ghetto had to be relieved, necessitating the transport of17,517 Jews to Auschwitz. After the Red Cross visit, and the release of a glowing report, transports to Auschwitz resumed.
Letter: Letter written in blue ink on thin white paper.Envelope: Tan envelope addressed to Blarenka Seidlicove in blue ink. Back flap has return address to Otto Leidlic.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Correspondence between Otto Leidlic and Blarenka Seidlicove/Leidlic (2012.1.345a-e).
Envelope From the United National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) to the American Joint Distribution Committee
White envelope addressed to Joseph C. Hyman, American Joint Distribution Committee in New York from M.W. Beckelman, UNRRA. Includes Beckelman's signature.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: The United National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was active from December 9, 1944-June 30, 1947. This envelope is an early use of the UNRRA designation. Stamped API 759 (Casablanca) June 28, 1944, self-censored.
Green envelope with printed return address to "Der Bezirkshauptmann in Jitschin." Includes typewritten address to Blazena Seidlitz.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Letter from the Commissioner for Management of Properties in "Jitschin" in Chechoslovakia to Blazena Seidlitz
Tan postcard with black printed postcard lines and message layout on back side. Addressed in ink to H. Eisner from Eda Aschermann.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: From the "Judenrat" in Litzmannstadt (Lodz) Ghetto, an acknowledgement of receipt of 20 Reichsmarks
Typewritten letter on "Der Höhere SS-Und Polizeiführer" stationery. Includes signature in black.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Stroop was the SS Police Leader of Warsaw who was responsible for the savage crushing of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943 about which he wrote a book- intended as a souvenir for Himmler- originally entitled “The Warsaw Ghetto is no more.” It took Stroop and his army a month of overwhelming firepower to subdue the Ghetto fighters who had little in the way of food or ordnance. Indeed, Stroop grudgingly acknowledged surprise at the fighting spirit of the Ghetto inhabitants. Brought to trial as a war criminal, he was found guilty and executed-appropriately- in Warsaw. Document on his"Der Hohere SS und Polizeifuhrer" letterhead. Sent to SS-Gruppenfuhrer and Waffen SS- Generalleutnant Maximilan von Herff in Berlin, thanking him for sending an edition of the "New German Cultural Atlas', which I would like to study..."Maximilian von Herff (1893-1945) commanded a corps in North Africa and later assisted Stroop in overseeing the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Typewritten message on "Der Reichskommissar für die Besetzten Niederländischen Gebiete" stationery. Includes signature in blue.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: A letter written by Arthur Seyss-Inquart to Albert Speer. Seyss-Inquart (1892-1946) was Reich Governor of Austria, Deputy Governor to Hans Frank in the General Government of occupied Poland, and Reich Commissioner for the German-occupied Netherlands. In the latter capacity, Seyss-Inquart shared responsibility for the deportation of Dutch Jews and the shooting of hostages. At Nuremberg he was found guilty of crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and subsequently sentenced to death.
Front: Tan paper with fold. "Auszug aus der Lagerordnug:" printed at top left. Date written in top right. Top righthand corner has the date. Back: Circled 22 to left of address. Two identical purple stamps in the righthand corner of Hitler's profile facing right. On the other half is the prisoner's name, number(15301), and block (12)
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Natzweiler-Struthof was the only German concentration camp in France. Prisoners had been used as slave laborers for the German armaments industry. A gas chamber had been constructed and used on 80 Jewish prisoners who were sent to the Institute of Anatomy at Strasbourg University to be used for Dr. August Hirt’s skeleton collection. Lettersheet from Michel Choll to his wife Kathryn in Luxembourg. My dear wife, I received your lovely letter on the 26th of July. It took 18 days and the package with cake came on the 2nd of July--all arrived safely. Many thanks. With each piece I take out of the package I think of your lovely hands doing it (putting the items in). Kathryn, don't send so much because you could use it yourself. I am fine. I am happy (if you are ok--to go thru these terrible times--but if the tomatoes stay small or big it doesn't matter. I heard from --- Luxembourg--something happened to a lot of families--that is why we have to work out (suffer with) the situation. Hopefully we will see each other healthy. My best wishes for ---. I haven't heard anything from ---. I am waiting for your next letter to arrive. Many heartfelt kisses. My greetings to the others.
Front: Tan postcard with printed black text and blanks, with black writing in cursive. Some writing in pencil in lower righthand corner. Back: Black printed postcard lines. Return address written in black ink on upper lefthand corner. Address written in black ink on right side. Black stamp across length of the top. 11b stamp in blue on left side. Purple pasted stamp of Hitler in profile facing left on right top corner. Postcard written by Elizabeth Rosa Ornstein (Born May 2, 1896), Prisoner number 46606. Transported from Vienna, Austria to Thereseinstadt on. Transported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz on October 6, 1944. She did not survive.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Package receipt acknowledgement sent by Elizabeth Rosa Ornstein (Born May 2, 1896), on July 7, 1944. Rosa was prisoner number 46606 at Theresienstadt, having been transported from Vienna, Austria to Theresienstadt. She was deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz- three months after receiving this package -on October 6, 1944 ,where she was murdered.
Tan Sachsenhausen stationery with printed regulations and lines. Includes a message written in blue ink. Includes address to Hilenke Zoubkore from Zander Zorbek.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: This letter from a 48-year-old Czechoslovakian prisoner at Sachsenhausen to his wife reflects his concern about his relationship with her -- damage that his imprisonment at the hands of the Nazis not only created, but now also limits his ability to repair. This letter iswaswritten in good German but has mistakes characteristic of Czechoslovakian speakers of German. This letter was written five days before army conspirators attempted to assassinate Hitler. Translation:Sachsenhausen, July 15, 1944.The day of release cannot be given yet. Visits to the camp are forbidden. Inquiries are useless. Extract of the camp regulations: Each detainee may write or recieve two letters or postcards per month. Incoming letters may not have more than 4 pages of 15 lines each and they must be written in a clear and readable form. Remittances of money are only allowed by postal order whose coupon may only contain the first and last name, birth date, and number of the detainee, but no communications of any sort. Money and photos or picture enclosures in letters are forbidden. Postal sendings that do not comply with these regulations will be denied [admittance]. Poorly organized or hard to read letters will be destroyed. Everything can be bought in the camp. National Socialist newspapers are permitted but must be ordered within the concentration camp by the detainee himself. Food packages may be recieved at any time and in any amount. The Camp Commander.Dear Helen! I thank you for your letter of the 28th of June and for the packages of June 23, June 30, and July 4. Best thanks also to the [name] but they shouldn't send me any more. If I should need anything I will write. Please let me know how you meant it in your letter before the last with the greatest humiliation of a woman through a man. I do not understand that well. In reading your letter I walked with you through our entire place [could refer to a farm]. I thought of each little place which reminded me of any happy, content, and beautiful experience. I do not think about the discontented ones. Do not forget to tell me what became of the firm [illegible] and co. Dearest K-I thank you for the "[trade name of time]" you sent. It lasted me about 14 days. [Name] and [name] I also thank for the letter of May 27. I would like it to end soon. I send my greeting to Uncle --, and I'm looking forward to his news. I thank dear Maryanke, for her greetings, and I return them. I wish her good helath. Kisses, your Janke.
Tan postcard addressed to Dr. Otto Kurz from Rosa Englander in green ink. Includes message written in green ink.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Translation: "Dear Hana and Otto: We wrote to you recently and acknowledged receipt of package of figs. We also received the package sent via Red Cross. My wife was especially pleased to receive the latter. She is recuperating from a recent illness and in need of lots of rest. I also informed you that my mother passed away Dec 12, 1943 and asked you to inform the rest of the family. Otherwise we are quite well. We constantly wait for mail from you. Greetings."
Tan paper with typewritten message in fading ink. Blue Buchenwald hand stamp in upper left corner. Black Kartei stamp in upper right. Black ink singnature in bottom middle.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Document signed by a concentration camp doctor ("Der Lager Arzt") at Buchenwald stating that the inmate, Otto Schnurpel, prisoner Nr. 24097, died "accidentaly" on July 25, 1944. This date is five days after the July 20th attempt on Hitler's life.
Green postcard with black printed postcard lines. Addressed to Josefa France from Irma Semesky in black ink. Includes message written in black ink.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: To Frau Josefa France, Prague VII, Messetasse 41 (11l) from Semesky, Irma, Theresienstad, Hauptstrausse (Maiuah) 22/71. Red stamp -- really only one postcard in German language over the official for Jewish Prague 5 -- Philipp de Monte Gesse 18.Translation: "Most precious mother,Greetings and kisses. I thank you for everything you do for me. Package arrived in good condition and made me very happy. I think of you all the time and also our good friends and are also happy to recieve letters from them. From Father Franz I receive nothing, only from you. I received photos and a letter from Paul. It made me very happy. I would love to have a picture of your dear mother to see what you look like. I am working as before and am quite satisfied with my work. I have the opportunity to read and listen to music and you know what pleasure this gives me. I hope you are really in good health and that you think of me as I do of you. I hope you heard from Paul. Write to me often dear mother as I wait impatiently for any news of you. Many greetings for Paul, Aunt Anna and with kisses to you. Your Irna."
Front:Typed letter wtih large red Star of David handstamp at bottom center; '1.Aug.1944' handstamp at bottom left. Back: Continuation of typed text with Reich seal hand stamp.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:Typed one page two sided file document concerning one Hedwig 'Sara' Broh with large red 'Jude' and Star of David hand stamp, and Third Reich eagle hand stamp on reverse. Jews who were later killed by the regime were forced to pay for life insurance policies in which the regime was the beneficiary.
Tan paper with printed black German on top. Beneath are printed black dotted lines with handwriting in pencil. Back: Tan paper originally folded in half. Top portion has printed black text and dotted lines filled in with the last name 'Vesela', then a blank portion below excepting some pencil writing beneath the printed lines, and a long diagonal pencil mark. The other half has the address written on printed postal lines, and a red stamp of Hitler in profile facing right. On the pasted stamp is a black circular handstamp, and to the left is a purple rectangular hand stamp with a signature in it.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: This Ravensbruck Concentration Camp formular cover/letter from inmate Helena Vesela with printed postal instructions from the Camp Kommandant was sent in 1944. The letter was censored by the German Camp censor and stamped on the cover front page. Ravensbruck was the largest concentration camp for women in the Reich, and inmates came from over 30 countries.
Front: An image of a young girl, Dorrit Blumenkanz, holding a hot dog. Back: Typewritten information about image.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: From information attached to this International News Photos wire photo verso:Six year old Dorrit Blumenkanz is one of 982 Jewish refugees from Vienna finding shelter at Fort Ontario in Oswego, N.Y. Refugees were “assured that “ ‘whenever there is a knock at your door , it will be a friendly one.’”
Postcard from Daughter Mizzi Kuhn in Epping, Austria to Father in Theresienstadt with Ghetto Receiving Cancel
Tan postcard with red printed postcard lines addressed in black ink to Leopold Alois Kuhn from Mizzi Kuhn with a short handwritten message.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: The receiving cancellation states “JUDISCHE SELBSTVERWALTUNG THERESIENSTADT” or “JEWISH SELF-GOVERNMENT THERESIENSTADT” with a date of 9/2/1944. This is a reference to the Judenrat or Council of Elders who were appointed to mediate the orders given by the Nazis to the prisoners in the Theresienstadt, i.e., they served at the pleasure of the Nazis. This card is written to a father, Leopold Kuhn, deported to Theresienstadt, by his daughter Mizzi Kuhn in Epping, Austria. Mizzi reports that after a long walk she is thinking of him with love and kisses.
Envelope Back: Tan envelope with handwritten address.Envelope Front: Handwritten address, red postage stamp and one black hand stamp.Letter Front: Printed black lines and text; handwritten message.Letter Back: Continuation of handwritten message.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Cover from Brandnburg Penitentiary franked with 12pf Hitler tied with 8/16/1944 Brandenburg (Havel) cds, to Bohemia, with censored letter enclosure, address label strip removed. Before Brandenburg became the site of political repression and terror, with almost 3,000 executions between 1940 and 1945 -- including that of a 15 year-old French boy -- it was the site of the Brandenberg euthanasia center. As such it was part of the T4 program, where disabled, mentally retarded, or mentally ill people were gassed.
Front: Issued to Karl Fodor, born on July 29,1934. Divided into four boxes, photo is in top right. Back: Seven typed lines with handstamps including handwritten signatures above and below as well as an oval Budapest handstamp below. Additional handstamp in bottom right corner
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: A photostatic copy of Swedish Schutz-Pass issued to Karl Fodor of Budapest, Hungary, of the type issued by Raoul Wallenberg to the Jews in Budapest. It is signed and stamped by royal Swedish legation. The Schutz-Pass was a Swedish legal document providing the protection of the neutral Swedish government to its recipient.
Tan postcard with black printed postcard lines. Addressed to J.L. Sehaehtile from Hugo Weinmann. Includes message written in black ink.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: A postcard from Hugo Weinmann -- Theresienstadt to Mr. Sehaehtile -- Aug. 21-1944. Translation: "Dear friend:On behalf of my wife I am writing to you today and thank you for your concern. Because of the good care she has received the healing process is progressing quite well. She is expecting to leave the Hospital on the 15th of this month. How are all of you and hope that you had good news from your son. I am still employed at the Post office and like my work. Without my work life would be very difficult to hear. Now dear friend let me hear from you again and I send greeting to your dear wife. Greetings to you my dear old friend. Your old friend, Hugo. Replies only on Postcards in German."
Tan document including rip and water damage. Titled, "Personal-Antrag." Includes typewritten biographical information.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Oswald Pohl was the head of the economic office of the SS and ultimate overseer of the concentration camp system. It was Pohl who was responsible for harvesting dental gold, hair, eyeglasses, etc. for the Nazis. He was captured and executed in 1951.This letter was a request that Friedrich Fritz Hartjenstein be promoted to the rank of SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer. This personal-antrag was sent to the SS personnel headquarters from Oranienburg and signed at bottom by an unidentified SS Gruppenfuhrer, perhaps the inspector of concentration camps, Richard Glucks. Hartjenstein was described as a camp commandant. The recommendation also gave a record of his prior military service. In part, it read: "In May 1944, he took over the concentration camp Natzweiler as commander. He made it a model camp and it continues to expand and organize the establishment of a larger working stock [slave labor]. Hartjenstein is for my service area particularly suitable. I recommend his promotion to SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer..." On the verso, Pohl signed his approval of the promotion. Beneath appear yet more details concerning Hartjenstein, including his children's birthdates, his service record -- including dates of service at Auschwitz and Natzweiler -- his military education, dates of promotion, etc.Freidrich Hartjenstein (1905-1954) began his SS work at Sachsenhauser in 1938. The following year he was transferred to Niederhagen and in 1941 he served for a year with the 3rd SS division Totenkopf, a Waffen SS combat division. In 1942, he was appointed the commandant of Birkenau. This was the main camp at Auschwitz, which contained the extermination facilities and crematoria. In 1944, Hartjenstein was appointed commandant of Natzweiler concentration camp in France. In 1945 he went to work at Flossenburg concentration camp. He would die while awaiting execution by the French. Natzweiler, a labor and punishment camp at which 25,000 people suffered and died, was evacuated only a few weeks after Hartjenstein received his promotion.