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Martin Weiss papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2010.262

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    Martin Weiss papers

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    The Martin Weiss papers consists of identification documents collected by Martin Weiss in post-war Czechoslovakia. The documents were collected by Weiss after his release from the Gunskirchen concentration camp, a sub-camp of Mauthausen concentration camp, and were intended to be used for Weiss’ immigration to the United States.
    inclusive:  1900-1946
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Martin Weiss
    Collection Creator
    Martin Weiss
    Martin Weiss was one of nine children born to orthodox Jewish parents in Polana (Polyana), Czechoslovakia, a rural village in the Carpathian Mountains. His father owned a farm and had a meat business. His mother and all the children helped take care of the cows and horses. Martin attended the Czech public schools, which were quite progressive. He looked forward to leaving the provincial life in Polana. In September 1938, The Munich Pact with other western powers allowed Hitler to annex the Sudetenland border region of Czechoslovakia. In March 1939, Nazi Germany annexed the Bohemia/Moravia region and its allies dismembered the remainder of Czechoslovakia. Hungarian troops occupied Polana and annexed the Subcarpathian Rus. Anti-Jewish legislation was enacted and the democratic freedoms that they had enjoyed under Czechoslovakian rule disappeared. Czech schools were closed, and students had to learn Hungarian.

    In June 1941, Germany attacked the Soviet Union. Hungarian forces joined in the war and many Jewish males, including two of Martin’s brothers, were conscripted into forced labor battalions. The family soon learned that some Jews from the area had been deported to German occupied Ukraine where they were killed by SS units. In April 1944, Hungarian gendarmes transported the village's Jews, including Martin's family, to the Munkacs ghetto. In May, they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Martin, his father, brother, and two uncles were selected for forced labor; the other family members were sent to the gas chambers. Martin and his father were sent to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, and then to the Melk subcamp where they worked as slave labor building tunnels into the mountain sides. His father perished there.

    Martin was liberated at Gunskirchen labor camp by American troops in May 1945. He returned to Czechoslovakia, where he found some surviving family members. In 1946, they immigrated to the United States.

    Physical Details

    Russian Czech
    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Martin Weiss papers is arranged in 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

    Geographic Name
    Personal Name
    Weiss, Martin.

    Administrative Notes

    Martin Weiss donated the Martin Weiss papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 17:50:57
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