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Fanny and Leo Englard papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2007.492.1

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    Overview

    Description
    Documents, correspondence and photographs regarding Fanny Dominitz, who survived several concentration camps, and her husband Leo Englard, who served in the Jewish Brigade Group during World War II.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Fanny Englard
    Collection Creator
    Fanny Englard
    Leo Englard
    Biography
    Fanny Dominitz was born September 9, 1925 in Cologne, Germany, to Jakob Dominitz, a traveling businessman, born on November 26, 1899, and Scheindel Ungar Dominitz, born April 18, 1897, both in Tarnow, Poland. She had four brothers, all born in Cologne: Leo Markus on November 6, 1926, a second brother in 1928, Isidor Izi on July 29, 1929, and a fourth, birth date unknown. She also had sisters, one by the name of Tzipora. Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in 1933 led to increasingly severe restrictions on Jews. The government sanctioned anti-Jewish boycotts and enacted anti-Jewish legislation. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws defined Jews by race and mandated the total separation of Aryans and non-Aryans. Fanny’s parents decided in 1936 that her father should leave Cologne for Katowice, Poland, because Jewish men were at a high risk of arrest and deportation. By January 1, 1938, German Jews were prohibited from operating businesses and trades, and from offering goods and services. On October 28, 1938, the Germans expelled nearly 20,000 Polish Jews from Germany in the Polenaktion, including Fanny’s father, mother, brothers, sisters and grandma; all were sent to the Bentschen internment camp.
    In 1940, Fanny left Cologne and joined the Youth Hachschara in Rissen, Schleswig-Holstein, near Altona, to gain agricultural skills and obtain a visa to emigrate to Palestine. She entered a Jewish girl’s orphanage in Hamburg and trained as a housekeeper from 1940 to November 1941, when she received orders to report to the Gestapo for deportation to a labor camp in Minsk as part of the 4th Hamburg-Altona transport. On December 4, the deportees met at the Talmud Tora School and learned that Rabbi Dr. Joseph Carlebach, who visited with Fanny at the Hachschara, was to head this transport. On December 6, the group was loaded into police vans for transport to the Hannoversche goods depot and informed that they were going to the Jungfernhof concentration camp in Riga, Latvia. The 3-4 day trip terminated at Skirotava station 3 miles from Riga on Dec 10, 1941. The prisoners were forced to march in the snow to Jungfernhof, a former agricultural estate with no sanitary facilities, running water, or toilets. Women and men were separated and housed in barracks with no protection from the weather or the cold. Rabbi Carlebach was the chief Rabbi at Jungfernhof and a mediator for the Jews. Fanny became friends with his daughter, Noemi, and worked at the factory Meteor.
    The Germans closed Jungfernhof in March 1942 and Fanny, along with 200 other girls, was deported to the Riga ghetto. In November 1943, the few surviving members of the 4th transport were transferred to Kaiserwald concentration camp near Riga. Fanny deported again on August 9, 1944, to the Stutthof concentration camp in Poland, where she was labeled a political prisoner and given the identification number 60 992. In October 1944, she was transferred to Sophienwald labor camp, a subcamp of Stutthof near Stolp, Poland. With the Russian army closing in on Sophienwald, the camp was evacuated on January 25, 1945 and the prisoners were forced on a 62 mile death march to Lauenberg, Poland. In March 1945, the prisoners were again forced to march to Gydni, Poland; the inmates believed that they were to be put on a ship which the Germans then intended to sink. Instead, they were liberated near Lauenberg by the Soviet Army on March 3, 1945.
    After liberation, Fanny tried to find surviving family members. She learned that her mother and 10 year old brother, along with the other family members expelled during Polenaktion, were deported from Bentschen to Belzec, and killed in the gas chambers in 1939. Jakob was deported to the Warsaw ghetto and died from typhus in June 1941. Fanny’s brothers, 15 year old Isa and 12 year old Leo, were part of a transport leaving Cologne for the Minsk ghetto. They were killed in a mass shooting in Balgortchina, near Belarus, on July 28, 1942. Only one brother survived; he had managed to get to England. Fanny emigrated to Palestine in May 1947 and married Leo Englard. Fanny has talked about her Holocaust experiences to many organizations over the years. She found that, in order to set up a new life, it is necessary to have peace, not hatred. And that to believe as a Jew in the hope of 'Never Again' it is necessary to be vigilant: "We have not survived to witness the same fate once again."
    Leo Englard was a soldier in the Jewish Brigade Group during World War II. He emigrated to Palestine before 1939 from Germany where he probably was born, somewhere near Cologne. He may have been a member of a non-combatant Palestine regiment prior to the formation of the Jewish Brigade Group. Palestine was governed by a British mandate sanctioned by the United Nations. The British Army established the Jewish Brigade in September 1944. It included more than 5,000 Jewish volunteers from Palestine and was the only independent, national Jewish military unit to serve in World War II. They served in combat in the final battles for the liberation of Italy under the command of Brigadier Ernest Benjamin. The British disbanded the unit in the summer o f 1946. Leo married Fanny Dominitz, a German Jewish refugee and concentration camp survivor, who emigrated to Palestine in 1947. The couple had known each other in Germany and had corresponded throughout the war.

    Physical Details

    Genre/Form
    Photographs.
    Extent
    1 box

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The Museum is in the process of determining the possible use restrictions that may apply to material(s) in this collection.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The collection was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Fanny Englard in 2007.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 17:50:10
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn35762

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