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Serafina and Bola Friedler papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2011.158.1

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    Serafina and Bola Friedler papers

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    The Serafina and Bola Friedler papers comprise documents and photographs concerning Serafina and Bola Friedler, a mother and daughter from Borysław, Poland (now Boryslav, Ukraine) who survived the Holocaust after being liberated from Auschwitz in 1945. Among the documents collected by the Serafina and Bola are Red Cross identification cards issued to them after their liberation, an autograph book used by Bola while living at the Bad Reichenhall displaced persons camp, correspondence, and documentation of Serafina’s role as a witness in the trail against Nazi high official, Fritz Hildebrand in 1966. The photographs include images of family before the war, many of whom perished. The majority depict Bola and her friends participating in numerous activities while living in the Bad Reichenhall displaced persons camp, and include images of their trip to the United States and life in Omaha, Nebraska.

    The Serafina and Bola Friedler papers are comprised of documents and photographs collected by Serafina and Bola, before, during, and after the Holocaust. Among the documents collected by the Serafina are two Red Cross identification cards issued to her a month after her liberation from Auschwitz and her certificate of registration with the Jewish Agency for Palestine. Also included is official documentation of Serafina’s participation as a witness in the trial against Nazi high official, Fritz Hildebrand in 1966. Restitution claims filed by Serafina are also comprised herewith in. Among the documents collected by Bola are numerous postcards and letters written to her while living in the Bad Reichenhall DP camp from friends and family in Italy and Australia, among other places. Also comprised is an autograph book Bola kept while living in Bad Reichenhall and her Red Cross identification card, issued in 1945. The photographs include images of family members who perished in the Holocaust, but are primarily from Serafina and Bola’s time in Bad Reichenhall and other camps in central Europe. They depict life in the camps and include many images of youth activities, friends, and celebrations in Bad Reichenhall, the Aschau transit camp, their journey to the United States aboard the General C.H. Muir, and their life in Omaha. Most of the photographs are of Bola with friends participating in a number of activities, including skiing, gymnastics, and biking.
    inclusive:  circa 1930-1966
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Bella Miller
    Collection Creator
    Bola (Bella) F. Miller
    Serafina Friedler was born Serafina Sigulim in Drohobycz, Poland (present-day Drohobyhch, Ukraine) in 1904. She married Egon Friedler of Borysław, Poland. Together, they had two children, Edek and Bola (later Bella Miller), both born in Borysław, Poland (now Boryslav, Ukraine). Egon, a businessman, owned a women’s boutique at which Serafina would sometimes work. The family had a comfortable life in city-center of Borysław, where they owned an apartment building. Upon the German invasion in 1939, Egon’s shop and all his goods were confiscated because he was Jewish. Shortly after, the Russian army took over the city and the family’s lives returned to relative normalcy with Egon working in the oil fields and Edek and Bola attending public schools. In 1941, the Germans reentered the city and instituted a series of pogroms, during which time Bola and her family hid with Christian neighbors and later, in a wine cellar. Eventually the family was arrested and deported Auschwitz. Egon and Edek were later deported to Mauthausen where they are presumed to have perished in 1945. Serafina and Bola survived and were liberated from Auschwitz in 1945. After the war, they traveled from Jewish home to Jewish home around the Silesian region of central Europe. In late 1945, they were sent to a displaced persons camp in Bad Reichenhall, Germany through arrangements made by the UNRRA. Serafina and Bola stayed in that camp for nearly four years until 1949, when they were sent to the Aschau transit camp. From there, the mother and daughter traveled to Boston, arriving December 1949 aboard the USS General C. H. Muir. As they had no family in the country, Serafina and Bola were sent to Omaha, Nebraska where members of the Jewish community there assisted them in procuring housing and employment. Once settled, Bola finished high school and got a job with Continental Grain Company. In 1952 they decided to move to New York, where Bola kept her job with Continental Grain. Both Serafina and Bola were naturalized in 1955.

    Physical Details

    German Polish English
    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The Serafina and Bola Friedler papers are arranged as three series:
    • Series 1: Serafina Friedler, 1945-1966 and undated
    • Series 2: Bola Friedler, 1945-1949
    • Series 3: Photographs, 1930-1952 and undated

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The donor, source institution, or a third party has asserted copyright over some or all of these material(s). The Museum does not own the copyright for the material and does not have authority to authorize use. For permission, please contact the rights holder(s).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2011 by Bella Friedler Miller
    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:
    2024-04-01 11:41:14
    This page:

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