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Lili Scharf Deutsch papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2009.260.1

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    Collection of materials including Red Cross letters, correspondence, written between members of the Scharf family, primarily written by the donor after her liberation from Bergen Belsen to her family in Palestine; dated 1937-1946.
    issue:  1937-1946
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lili Deutsch
    Collection Creator
    Lili Scharf Deutsch
    Lili Scharf was born on December 29, 1926, in Kisvarda, Hungary, to Herman and Rachel Steiger Scharf. Herman was born in 1888 in Verestzky, Czechoslovakia, Austro-Hungary, in the Transcarpathian region. Rose was born in 1888 in Berezna, Czechoslovakia, Austro-Hungary. The family had a grocery and liquor store. Lili was the next to the youngest of seven siblings: Helen, born 1910, Alex, Zippora (Magda), Esther, Mishka (Moshe), born 1918, Judith, born December 15, 1921, and Yitzhack (Bondy). Between 1934 and 1936, Alex, Esther, and Zippora immigrated to Palestine.

    Hungary had joined Nazi Germany in the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Jewish males were conscripted into labor battalions that were placed under the control of the Hungarian Army. Mishka was shot while serving with a labor battalion on its way to the Ukraine. After the German Army began to retreat in early 1943, the Hungarian government sought a truce with the Western powers. On March 19, 1944, Germany occupied Hungary. Lili, her parents Herman and Rachel, and Bondy were placed into the ghetto. They recevied a lettetr from Judith telling them that she was on her way to Palestine. In Summer 1944, the family was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in. Her parents were sent to the gas chambers upon arrival. Bondy was selected for labor and sent to another camp. Lili was selected for labor, but while in the camp, was shocked to meet her sister Judith. Judith, who was in a Zionist Youth movement active in the Youth Resistance in the ghetto, had been caught, with her friend Esther Vardi, with multiple sets of false documents and arrested by the Gestapo. She was imprisoned and then sent to KiskisAuschwitz. Lili and Judith were together briefly, before being separated and sent to different camps. Lili was sent to Birenbaumel concentration camp via Breslau and Trachenberg, where she dug anti-tank canals. She was then forced on a death march through the mud and snow to Bergen-Belsen. She witnessed young women being shot for pausingto hit the snow off their shoes.

    Bergen Belsen was liberated by British forces on April 15, 1945, Lili remained in the camp, working in the Messing Office as a typist. She learned that her sister, Helen, had been deported and perished in a concentration camp. Her brother Bondi had been killed in Dachau. Lili was active in Hashomer Hatzair, and tried unsuccessfully to get to Palestine. After her first attempt, she was sent from Belgium back to Dusseldorf, Germany. Eventually, she managed to cross the border to Italy through the Alps and stayed in Milan and Rome disaplced persons camps as a stateless refugee. She eventually got passage on the ship, Moledet, and sailed on June 6, 1948, to the newly declared State of Israel, where she was reunited with her sister Judith. Judith had been sent from Auschwitz to Weisskirchen concentration camp, where she worked in an arms factory until liberated in May 1945. Judith had emigrated legally to Palestine from Romania, with the aid of Hashomer Hatzair, on October 29, 1945. Lili married and became Lil Deutsch. She had two sons. She and her family eventually immigrated to the United States.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    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

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2009 by Lili Deutsch.
    Record last modified:
    2023-12-26 14:22:31
    This page:

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