Fonds RA042 - Hollander family fonds

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Hollander family fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Photographic material
  • Moving images

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6 cm of textual records
11 photographs : prints
4 optical discs : DVDs
1 electronic document : PDF

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Arthur Hollander (b. 1949 in Nairobi, Kenya) is the son of Holocaust survivors Ruth (Rozalia, née Herbstein) and Leopold (Lolek) Hollander (Holender), middle class Polish Jews originally from Warsaw, Poland. Ruth (b. 1914, d. 2001) and Leopold (b. 1914, d. 1998) left Warsaw on November 20, 1939 for Grodno, where they received mail from Ruth’s sister Justyna in Warsaw sent to them via the address of a relative resident in Grodno. In 1940, the Hollanders were deported by the Soviets to a forced labour lumber camp in Siberia; some mail was forwarded to them at this camp, months after being posted from Warsaw. In September, 1941 they travelled to Krasnovodsk, Kazakhstan by train to join the tenth division of the Polish army. They travelled to Iran in 1942, then Karachi, India with the Polish army. In 1943 they were resident in a displaced persons camp in Uganda and moved to Kenya in 1944, where they had three children (Renata, Arthur and Ann) and raised their family. None of their Warsaw relatives survived the war.

Arthur Hollander attended boarding school and the University of London in London, England, from 1962 to 1972. In 1975, he, his parents and youngest sister and her family immigrated from Central and South Africa to Canada. Arthur and his parents settled in Vancouver in 1986. He married in 1987 and had two sons. Arthur Hollander lives in Richmond, BC, where he tutors students in math and physics and is a partner in a property management company. He has spoken about his parents’ story to audiences in Richmond and Vancouver.

Custodial history

Records were maintained by Arthur Hollander until he donated them to VHEC in 2001 and 2020.

Scope and content

Fonds is comprised of family photographs, correspondence to Ruth and Leopold Hollander from relatives living in the Warsaw ghetto, travel and identification documents, research, testimony and other materials pertaining to the history of the Hollander family as Jewish refugees who fled Poland as a result of antisemitic persecution, laboured in a Siberian camp and immigrated to Africa and Canada.

Fonds has been arranged into the following four series: Photographs [192-]–[193-], Correspondence from the Warsaw ghetto (1940–1941), Travel and identification documents (1947–1978) and Family history records ([198-]–2019).

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Letters from the Warsaw ghetto were found by Arthur Hollander with his mother’s belongings around the time of her death in 2001, and donated to the VHEC with copies of family photographs shortly thereafter. Photograph originals, travel documents, testimonies, transcripts, research materials, correspondence, speech and eulogies were donated by Arthur Hollander to the VHEC in 2020.


Items have been arranged into four series by the archivist.

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  • English
  • Polish

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Item lists of photographs and correspondence from the Warsaw ghetto are available.

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No further accruals are expected.

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Finding aid prepared by Myron Groover in 2013 referencing Filemaker Pro catalogue records created by the VHEC in 2001. Updated in 2020 with description of accrual by Shyla Seller.

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