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Egon Weiss papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2011.128.1

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    Egon Weiss papers

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    The Egon Weiss papers consist of a diary written by Egon Weiss describing his 1940 voyage on the SS Milos, the explosion of the SS Patria, his internment in the Atlit detainee camp, and the following years in Jerusalem as well as a scrapbook containing biographical material and photographs relating to the Weiss family from approximately 1890 to 2009. The collection also includes correspondence between the family and information relating to the SS Patria and prisoners of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

    Egon Weiss began his diary after he arrived in Palestine in 1940 and the last entry was made on December 12, 1945. In the diary he describes his voyage on the Milos, the explosion of the Patria, his internment in Atlit, and his subsequent years in Jerusalem. The diary includes illustrations, photographs, document enclosures, and the front page of The Palestine Post, from May 7, 1945. Loose pages have been removed from the enclosure before page 63 and placed in folder 2.1 and the newspaper cover was removed from the enclosure on page 133 and placed in OS 1.

    The scrapbook contains biographical information, including wedding and death certificates and a notice of dissolution for Edmund Weiss’ business as well as family photographs from 1890 to 2009, including photographs of a post-war visit to the family store and apartment in Karlovy Vary.

    Subject files include pre-war and wartime correspondence from Emil, Edith, Olga, and Egon to family member, newspaper clippings and photocopies of information relating to the Patria, and an excerpt from “Book of Remembrance” which includes names of prisoners from Bergen-Belsen.
    inclusive:  1890-2009
    bulk:  1920-1945
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Egon Weiss
    Collection Creator
    Egon Weiss
    Egon (later Ed) Weiss was born in 1920 to Emil (b. 1891) and Olga (née Kirschner b. 1897) Weiss in Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) where his family owned a store. Egon had a sister Edith (b. 1923) and a brother Tomy (b. 1942 in Theresienstadt). In 1938, Germany annexed the Sudetenland which included Karlovy Vary. Emil applied for visas to the United States hoping to join family already there, but he was unsuccessful and they decided to move to Pilsen. Emil and Olga feared that Egon was at risk of being taken because of his young age and decided to send him to Palestine so he could leave Czechoslovakia as soon as possible. They planned for Egon to join them in America once they received their paperwork. Egon traveled to Prague and then to Vienna where he boarded a river boat down the Danube. In Romania he boarded the SS Milos, one of three ships headed for Palestine. After arriving in 1940, the British did not to allow passengers to land and instead deport them to Mauritius. Egon was then transferred onto the SS Patria for deportation. Haganna operatives (the Jewish underground army) placed explosives on the Patria in an attempt to prevent deportation, but the amount of explosives was too great and the ship began to sink. Many passengers died in the explosion, but Egon managed to swim to shore. The British permitted the surviving passengers to remain in Palestine, but interned them in the Atlit camp. After a year, Egon was release and moved to Jerusalem. Egon’s parents and sister never received their immigration papers and were deported to Theresienstadt in 1942. Edith was deported to Auschwitz in 1943 and Emil and Olga were deported to Auschwitz in 1944 where they were killed. In 1947 Egon immigrated to the United States and married Elizabeth Schnitzler, an Auschwitz survivor from Nagykallo, in 1955.

    Physical Details

    1 box
    1 oversize box
    1 oversize folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Egon Weiss papers are arranged as three series:
    Series 1: Diary, 1940-1945
    Series 2: Scrapbook, approximately 1890-2009 and undated
    Series 3: Subject files, 1903-1995.

    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 the material(s) in this collection. 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

    Egon (Ed) Weiss donated the Egon Weiss papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2011.
    Funding Note
    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 13:19:09
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