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archival descriptions
Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre Family and personal life
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Writing Lives Memoir Project collection

  • CA VHEC RA036
  • Collection
  • 2016–2018

Collection is comprised of records accumulated as a result of the participation of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in a project entitled Writing Lives: The Holocaust Survivor Memoir Project. Writing Lives was a partnership between Langara College’s English and History departments, the Azrieli Foundation and the VHEC. For the project, students at Langara College worked closely with Vancouver-based Holocaust survivors to produce their written memoirs over the course of two semesters. In the first semester, students learned the history of the Holocaust. In the second semester, students interviewed survivors, transcribed the interviews and together with the survivors, completed written memoirs. In this fonds are the memoirs, administrative files and digital photographs produced during the two-year run of the project. Seven survivors participated in the first year of the project, from 2016–2017; five survivors participated in the second year of the project, from 2017 to 2018.

Collection is divided into three series: Memoirs (2017–2018), Administrative files (2016–2018) and Photographs (2017–2018).

Collection about Rudolf Vrba

  • CA VHEC RA028
  • Collection
  • 1987-2014

Collection consists of articles, lectures, correspondence, newspaper clippings and other textual material produced and collected by John Conway relating to the life, activity and legacy of Dr. Rudolf Vrba, a Slovak Jewish Holocaust survivor escaped from Auschwitz and associate professor of pharmacology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. Collection includes audiovisual records related to Vrba from the VHEC’s institutional holdings.

Collection has been arranged into the following series: Vierteljahrshefre für Zeitgelchichte documents series (1997–2010); Vrba memorial lecture series (2006–2014); Biographical material series (1987–2010); Correspondence and research records series (2004–2007); and Articles and lectures series (1992–2013).

Survivors Today project fonds

  • CA VHEC RA055
  • Fonds
  • [1977]–1987

Fonds consists of multimedia materials created by Brauer as a result of her Survivors Today project, which documented the lives of Holocaust and Hiroshima survivors after the war and documented attendees at the Canadian Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and their Children held in Ottawa from April 28–30, 1985. Materials in fonds include audio cassette tape recordings of one-on-one interviews with survivors and one tape of four survivors speaking at a symposium on the Holocaust. Assorted textual materials include manuscripts, correspondence, biographies, transcripts of interviews, book proposals, publications, financial records and a matted display panel. Lastly, photographic materials in the fonds consist of negatives, contact sheets and prints produced by Brauer.

The Survivors Today project aimed to honour survivors’ recollections of sorrow while also expressing their hopes and triumphs in their new lives. Interviews focus on how survivors came to Canada, their adjustments and contributions to life in Canada, and their perceptions of Canadian society. Other topics covered include Judaism and faith, Israel, Europe, nuclear weapons and global peace.

Brauer, Celia

Pichos Zozulya collection

  • CA VHEC RA004
  • Collection
  • [1944?]; 1964

The collection consists of correspondence from Pichos Zozulya to his descendants, describing the family’s experience of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Also includes a photograph of Pichos Zozulya dated 1964.

Zozulya, Pichos

Family records

Series consists of records pertaining to several family members of Sorensen. Included is a photocopy of a copy of an original document announcing the death of Sorensen’s great-grandfather, Mozes van Dam; an original notice of registration from the American Consulate in Rotterdam, Netherlands; an official identity card for Marianne Stein (née van Dam); forged identity cards used by Sorensen’s mother, Marianne Stein, and great aunt, Jansje van Dam; and original ration cards used to receive textiles and to buy food staples like potatoes, butter, bread, milk and meat.

Louise Stein Sorensen

Dr. Serge Vanry fonds

  • CA VHEC RA035
  • Fonds
  • 1940–1946; 2018

Fonds is comprised of photographs, certificates, identity and repatriation cards, correspondence and photocopies of administrative records. Records pertain to the experiences of the Vanry family during the Holocaust in France. Fonds also includes photographs and a speech created as a result of Serge Vanry’s participation in a ceremony honouring his rescuers, René and Marguerite Poignard of Neuvy-en-Sullias, held in France in 2018.

Fonds is arranged into the following two series: Family records ([1942 or 1943]–1945, 2018) and Photographs (1940–[circa 1945]; 2018).

Vanry, Serge

Correspondence

Series consists of records generated by the correspondence between Sorensen and family members, as well as emails between Sorensen and individuals from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. Records include handwritten and typed letters, postcards, and emails. The letters and postcards were primarily typewritten on a typewriter, with two postcards being handwritten. The series includes an envelope addressed to Loesje Stein.

Louise Stein Sorensen

Michel Mielnicki fonds

  • CA VHEC RA056
  • Fonds
  • [1939–2005]

Fonds consists of records created by, accumulated by, or about Michel Mielnicki related to his experience as a survivor of the Holocaust, the publication of Bialystok to Birkenau: The Holocaust Journey of Michel Mielnicki and Mielnicki’s reunion with his brother after nearly fifty years of separation. Records include photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, ephemera, video and audio cassette tapes, identity documents, notes and research materials.

Fonds is arranged into the following eight series: —Identity documents (1945–1966) —Photographs ([ca. 1939–1996]) —Memorabilia ([194–198-?]) —Mielnicki correspondence (1954–2005) —Clippings and publications (1947–2000) —Notes, research and speech ([198-]–[6 Oct. 1992]) —Leon Mendelewicz documents ([198-]–5 Mar. 1989) —Audio records (1995)

Mielnicki, Michel

Dr. Leon Komar collection

  • CA VHEC RA022
  • Fonds
  • 1938-1942

Collection consists of materials relating to Warsaw, Poland, in the Second World War era. Records include correspondence from Komar's family living in the Warsaw ghetto, documents showing a German leaflet dropped on Warsaw in 1938 and accompanying translations and commentary by the donor. Collection has been arranged into two series: German leaflet dropped from planes ([1939?], 1990) and Letters from the Warsaw ghetto (1938-1942; 1996).

Komar, Leon

John Herbert fonds

  • CA VHEC RA008
  • Fonds
  • 1924-2010

Fonds consists of memoirs, correspondence, photographs, vital records, travel documents, financial documents, publications, newspaper and magazine clippings, handwritten notes and drawings, maps, conference papers and artefacts relating to the life of John Herbert. Records chronicle John Herbert’s personal life, pursuit of higher education, career history, hobbies, travels and struggle to attain compensation for the properties seized from his family during the Second World War. Fonds has been arranged into the following series: JH memoirs series (1938–2010), Karpowitz family series (1939–2005), JH career documents series (1945–1988), JH inheritance and claims documents series (1924–2010), JH correspondence series (1955–2005), Research resources and notes series (1972–2005), Travel documents series (1946–1986), Inventions documents series (1979–1984), JH clippings series (1972–1988) and JH artefacts series.

Herbert, John

Photographs

Series consists of graphic materials concerning Sorensen and her family members and their experiences before, during and after the Second World War. Records include original and copied photographs and negatives. Many of the original materials remain in the custody of Sorensen or her sister, Elenore. Although some of the exact dates are unknown, the known dates of items in this series range from ca. 1921 to 2006.

Louise Stein Sorensen

Louise Stein Sorensen fonds

  • CA VHEC RA024
  • Collection
  • [ca. 1921]-2019

Fonds consists of textual records, graphic materials, and artefacts relating to Louise Sorensen’s life in the Netherlands, some of which was spent in hiding. Many of the items are wartime records, including photographs and negatives, correspondence, paper currency, drawings, notice of registration, official and forged identity cards, and ration cards. Additionally, the fonds contains copies of Sorensen’s great-uncle’s daughter’s, Ans’, testimonies; several English translations of items provided by Sorensen; and a 1947 second edition of Anne Frank’s Het Achterhuis, or The Diary of a Young Girl, also known as the Diary of Anne Frank. The fonds has been arranged by the archivist into the following six series: Personal records, Family records, Photographs, Correspondence, Currency and Publications and writings.

Louise Stein Sorensen

Alexander and Gina Dimant fonds

  • CA VHEC RA016
  • Fonds
  • [1920?]–2019

Fonds is comprised of correspondence, photographs, identity and personal documents, society registration documents, minutes, clippings, memorabilia and ephemera created or collected by Alexander and Gina Dimant in Poland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Italy and Canada. Records pertain to their family history, work, school, and social and volunteer activities prior to and after the Second World War.

Records have been arranged into the following series: Correspondence (1941–2019), Photographs ([1920?]–[2016], Personal records (1938–2013), Artefacts (1940–[before 1948], 1997), Clippings and ephemera ([after 1942]–2016) and Janusz Korczak Association of Canada records (2001–2008).

Dimant family

Sonner family fonds

  • CA VHEC RA010
  • Fonds
  • 1916-2007

Collection consists of vital records, administrative documents, original drawings, publications, educational certificates, academic papers, photographs, correspondence, letters of reference and audio-visual testimony relating to the life and work of Eric and Rose Sonner. Records detail the vital statistics, career history, education, travels and emigration efforts of the family from the late 1940s until the mid-2000s. Collection has been arranged into the following series: Terezín (1942–1945); Prague (1946–1949); Academic works (horticulture) (1947–1950); Correspondence and ephemera (1949–2000); Vital statistics records (Canada) (1949–2007); Eric Sonner testimony ([194-]–[before 2009]); and Photographs ([192-], 2016).

Sonner family

Jennie Phillips fonds

  • CA VHEC RA013
  • Fonds
  • [1912?]-1987

Fonds consists of photographs, vital records, personal notes, transcribed songs, correspondence and ephemera relating to the life of Jennie Phillips. Fonds has been arranged into the following series: JP photographs series (1912–1982), JP vital records series (1953–1979), JP personal papers series (1946–1987), Transcribed ghetto and camp songs series (1946), Stutthof Museum correspondence series (1984–1985) and JP ephemera series (1972).

Phillips, Jennie

Pollák, Deneberger, Kiss family fonds

  • CA VHEC RA034
  • Fonds
  • 1900–[after 1990]

Fonds is comprised of correspondence, family records and photographs created and/or kept by members of the Pollák, Deneberger and Kiss family, a Jewish family living in Tápiószele, Hungary during the Second World War. Records document the family's separation, internment, hiding and well as pre- and post-war activities.

Pollák, Deneberger, Kiss family

von Baiersdorf, Reif family fonds

  • CA VHEC RA007
  • Fonds
  • 1885–[196-]

Fonds consists of records relating to the ennobling of the von Baiersdorf family in 1884, the family’s personal financial record keeping, marriages, Otto Reif’s assistance to a displaced person, Erna von Engel-Baiersdorf’s work as a museum curator and artist, the deaths of Clara Baiersdorf Erdos and Elise Reif and the family’s religious and liturgical life.

Fonds consists of records relating to the ennobling of the von Baiersdorf family in 1884, the family’s personal financial recordkeeping, marriages, Otto Reif’s assistance to a displaced person, Erna von Engel-Baiersdorf’s work as a museum curator and sculptor, the deaths of Clara Baiersdorf Erdős and Elise Reif and other personal items.

Records include photographs, correspondence, an illuminated document conferring a noble title on the von Baiersdorf family, books and ephemeral items including postcards and newspaper clippings. Fonds is arranged into the following series: 1884 title (1884); Correspondence (1884–[196-?]); Photographs (1884–[196-?]) and Books, writings and ephemera ([189-]–1954).

von Baiersdorf, Reif family

Vilcsek family fonds

  • CA VHEC RA033
  • Fonds
  • [after 1881]–1971

Collection consists primarily of records generated or used during the period of the Second World War by the Vilcsek family in Budapest, Hungary. These include vital statistics and personal records of the Vilcsek family, photographs, and postcards mailed to the family from Ernő Vilcsek while he was in a labour camp in Hungary. Collection also consists of artworks, several on the theme of the Holocaust, created by Eva Kero after her immigration to Vancouver, BC.

Collection has been arranged into three series: Correspondence (1942), Family records ([after 1881]–1949) and Artworks (1969–1971).

Vilcsek family

Bick family fonds

  • CA VHEC RA012
  • Fonds
  • 1868-2002

Fonds consists of photograph albums, loose photographs, books, memoir, table cloth and official documents relating to the lives of members of the Bick family. Fonds has been arranged into the following series: Werner Bick memoir series (2002), Prayer books series (1868–1933), Bick family photographs series ([1891?]–[200-]), Siegfried and Johanna Bick emigration documents series (1938–1939) and Household object series ([before 1979]).

Bick family

Eisinger family fonds

  • CA VHEC RA009
  • Fonds
  • 1916–2011, predominant 1939–[198-]

Fonds consists of vital records, passports and travel permits, correspondence, objects, photographs, letters of reference, and ephemera relating to the lives of members of the Eisinger family, as well as their family history. Fonds has been arranged into the following series: Eisinger family government and vital records series (1916–1980); Eisinger, Marcus family correspondence series (1939–1954); Bedrich Eisinger Czechoslovak Army documents and objects series (1940–1946); Gerda Eisinger career documents series (1939–1977); Eisinger family photographs series (1937–[197-]); Reparation and compensation documents series (1951–2008); Eisinger genealogy research series (1994–2011); and Eisinger, Marcus family ephemera series ([194-]–1988).

Eisinger family

Teitelbaum, Buckman family fonds

  • CA VHEC RA023
  • Fonds
  • [194-]-1974

Fonds consists of records relating to the pre- and post-war experience of Rebecca (née Buckman) Teitelbaum, Herman Teitelbaum and their family. Fonds is arranged into five series: Notebooks (1944-1945), Correspondence (1944-1945), Identification and related records (1938-1974), Photographs ([1941]-1947) and Objects [1944].

Teitelbaum, Rebecca

Gottfried family fonds

  • CA VHEC RA001
  • Fonds
  • [189-]–2000, predominant [191-]–[196-]

Fonds consists of vital records, administrative documents, trade certificates, travel papers, correspondence, letters of reference, liturgical materials, and photographs relating to the lives of members of the Gottfried family and the families of Gerda and Lori Gottfried's husbands (the Kraus and Seemann families, respectively). Records detail the vital statistics, career history, educational attainment, travels and emigration efforts of the family from the early twentieth century until the beginning of the twenty-first century. Fonds has been arranged into the following series: Vienna ([189-]–1939), Shanghai (1939–1949), Emigration (1947–1950), Vancouver (1949–2000), Photographs ([191-]–[197-]).

Gottfried family

Baltuch, Schmucker family fonds

  • CA VHEC RA015
  • Fonds
  • [188-]–[before 1994]

Fonds consists of photograph albums and loose photos, personal records, passports, financial records, reparation and compensation claims forms, correspondence, notebooks and notes, ephemera and published materials relating to the lives of the Baltuch and Schmucker families before, during, and after the Second World War. Fonds has been arranged into the following series: Baltuch, Schmucker family photographs series ([188-]–1964); Baltuch, Schmucker family personal records series (1906–1961); Josef and Rosa Baltuch emigration and immigration documents series (1943–1961); Household and financial records (1919–1984); Rosa Baltuch reparation and compensation documents series (1934–1966); Baltuch, Schmucker family correspondence series ([before 1941]–1980); Notebooks and notes series ([before 1994]); Baltuch, Schmucker family ephemera series ([before 1994]); Baltuch, Schmucker family artefacts series ([before 1994]); and Baltuch, Schmucker family collected books series (1930–1980).

Baltuch, Schmucker family