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Frederick Weinstein papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2008.321.1

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    Frederick Weinstein papers

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    The Fryderyk Winnykamien papers comprise documents and photographs concerning Fryderyk Winnykamien, a Polish born Jew who escaped the Warsaw ghetto and lived in hiding for part of the war and his family in the years during and after the Holocaust. Materials include certification of slave labor, identification cards including Fryderyk’s false identification, correspondence, photographs depicting Fryderyk, his parents and wife at the Duppel displaced persons camp, United States naturalization paperwork, restitution claims, and the diary Fryderyk kept while in hiding in Warsaw between 1943 and 1944.

    The Fryderyk Winnykamien papers comprise documents and photographs collected by Fryderyk that document his experiences during and after the Holocaust. Materials include identification cards, correspondence, photographs, restitution paperwork, and a diary Fryderyk kept while in hiding in Warsaw between 1943 and 1944. The identification papers are all from the post war period, with the exception of a certificate stating he was a Jew and a slave laborer at the Ursus factory in 1942 and the false identification Fryderyk obtained while in hiding in 1943. Other forms of identification include travel passes and professional identification and passports for his father, Leopold. Other materials from the immediate post-war period include papers Fryderyk obtained while residing at the Düppel displaced persons camp near Berlin. This includes employment certifications for himself and Leopold. Additionally, most of the photographs comprised here within are images from Düppel. This collection also comprises a diary Fryderyk kept while in hiding in Warsaw between 1943 and 1944. He begins his account with his memories of the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and recounts his escape from Gniewószow, life in the Warsaw ghetto, his family and friends, and his escape from the ghetto in 1943. Upon fleeing his hiding place in 1944, Fryderyk buried his diary in the cellar where he was residing and returned to Warsaw after the war to retrieve it from the rubble. Post-war documents include Fryderyk’s United States naturalization papers and related documents, including his draft registration receipt, intent to become a citizen, and appeal to sponsor his parents immigration to the country. Restitution paperwork for Fryderyk, his parents, and his wife, Ruth is also held in this collection. The correspondence among Fryderyk’s papers is primarily from the 1970s. Most of it is between Fryderyk and his parents and Maria and Boleslaw Paciorek, Christians who were instrumental to Fryderyk’s survival during the war.
    inclusive:  1940-1999
    bulk:  1944-1947
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Frederick Weinstein
    Collection Creator
    Frederick Weinstein
    Fryderyk Winnykamien (later Frederick Weinstein) was born to Leopold Lipa and Isabella Bajla Gerszange Winnykamien in Biała Podlaska, Poland, where Leopold worked as a dentist. Fryderyk was the middle of three children, with an older sister named Pola and a younger sister named Rysia. The Winnykamien family lived in Łódź and all three children attended Jewish schools. After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, the Winnykamien family fled Łódź for Warsaw, with the intention of escaping to the Soviet Union. Unable to find work in Warsaw, in 1940 the family moved briefly to Otwock, a small town near Warsaw, where Leopold tried unsuccessfully to practice dentistry and Fryderyk earned money by smuggling food into Warsaw. Later, Fryderyk and his family moved to Gniewószow, a large village in the vicinity of Radom. There, Leopold practiced dentistry on well to do peasants and Pola returned to Warsaw to continue nursing school. In 1942, upon the German establishment of a ghetto in Gniewószow and shortly before the liquidation of that ghetto, Fryderyk and his parents hid with a family friend and were smuggled back to Warsaw, where Fred lived in the Warsaw ghetto and worked as a mechanic in the Ursus factory. In 1943, Fred fled the ghetto and went into hiding with his parents on the Aryan side of Warsaw under the assumed identity of a Roman Catholic man by the name of Mieczyslaw Ambryszewski. His mother and father lived under a false names of Maria and Józef Giziński. The family was forced to flee the building in which they were hiding after it was set on fire by SS guards in retaliation for the Warsaw ghetto uprising in early 1944. Fryderyk and his father spent the remaining days of the war as forced laborers building an outpost on the Soviet front until the Red Army liberated them in 1945. Fryderyk and Leopold were reunited with Isabella in Warsaw but learned that Pola was killed by an SS guard while tending to patients injured as a result of the uprising in the ghetto hospital where she worked as a nurse and that Rysia was killed in 1945 during the American Air Force bombing of Berlin, where she was working as a forced laborer. The surviving members of the family traveled around Europe and eventually settled in the Düppel displaced persons camp near Berlin. There, Fryderyk met his future wife, Ruth Cohn Chotzen and together, they immigrated to the United States in 1946 where they married and settled in New York. Upon their arrival, Fryderyk obtained work as a machinist for Beacon Machine Works and Ruth as an operator for the Atlantic Pad Company. Leopold and Isabella immigrated later to the United States.

    Physical Details

    1 box
    1 oversize box
    System of Arrangement
    The Fryderyk Winnykamien papers are arranged as a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Written or received by Frederick Weinstein, 1939-1945, Warsaw, Poland. Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2008 by Frederick Weinstein.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    The accessibility of this collection was made possible by the generous donors to our crowdfunded Save Their Stories campaign.
    Special Collection
    Save Their Stories
    Record last modified:
    2024-04-11 13:18:38
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