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Lakhovitzky family collection

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2012.416.1

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    Lakhovitzky family collection

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    The Lakhovitzky family papers contain birth certificates, marriage certificates, certificates of identity, travel documents, photographs, and similar materials documenting the family’s migration from Russia to France in 1927-1928, their internment in camps from 1941-1942, and their immigration to the United States in 1942.

    Outside of birth certificates from Russia for Natan Lakhovitzky, and documents attesting to the marriage and Russian citizenship of Natan and Vera Lakhovitzky from their stay in Turkey in 1927, the majority of the documents date from the period of their residence in and around Strasbourg, France, from 1928-1941, including identification and residence permits, and photographs of the couple and their elder son, Gilbert. Additional documents from the period of their internment following the German occupation of France and the establishment of the Vichy regime in the south include a transit permit showing Natan Lakhovitzky’s transfer from Rivesaltes to Les Milles. Subsequent documentation is related largely to the family’s immigration to the United States in 1942.
    inclusive:  1902-1995
    bulk:  1902-1942
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Gilbert and Raymond Lachow
    Collection Creator
    Lakhovitzky family
    Natan Lakhovitzky (born, Simferapol, 17 August 1902, died 24 August 1992) and Vera Lakhovitzky, nee Strachinsky (born Odessa, 1 February 1905, died 24 May 1973) left the Soviet Union in January 1927. Since they were unable to obtain a rabbinical wedding there in Russia, they were married in Istanbul, Turkey, on 17 June 1927, and immigrated to France the following year, arriving in Strasbourg in October 1928, where Natan found employment in a hat-making company. The Lakhovitzkys had two sons during their time in France, Gilbert (born, Strasbourg, 28 May 1933) and Raymond (born 25 October 1939).

    Beginning in December 1940, the family was interned in a series of camps, first at Camp d’Adge in southern France, and then Rivesaltes, where Natan was able to convince camp authorities to keep the family together, due to Mrs. Lakhovitzky’s rheumatoid arthritis. During this time, Raymond contracted chicken pox, and given the poor sanitary conditions at this camp, Vera refused to place him in the infirmary and took care of him until he recovered. Natan sought to improve conditions as he could, obtaining stubs of candles from a nearby church to give some light in the dark barrack, and gaining permission to walk to nearby Perpignan, to obtain some food for his family.

    In April 1941, Natan was transferred to Camp Les Milles, near Marseille. The family had sought to immigrate to the United States, hoping to obtain an affidavit from Natan’s sister, who lived in New York. Vera and the two children were held at the Centre Bompard in Marseille, while awaiting their visas and authorization to emigrate, and Natan was able to persuade a guard at Camp Les Milles to let him leave once a week in order to check on the status of his immigration paperwork. In April 1942 they were granted safe-conduct passes as well as visas that permitted them to immigrate to the United States on the Soviet quota, and they departed France 12 May 1942 on the SS Marechal Lyautey, arriving in Lisbon and travelling from there to Morocco, where they boarded the SS Serpa Pinto, which was transporting 700 European Jews to the United States. After the ship was detained by the British in Bermuda, it arrived in New York on 25 June 1942. The family, who changed their last names to Lachow, settled in Brooklyn, where Gilbert subsequently went to school and eventually obtained a degree from the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy in 1955, and worked in various retail pharmacies and for the Merck Corporation until his retirement in 1993.

    Physical Details

    4 folders
    1 oversize folder
    System of Arrangement
    Items are arranged by document type into three series (identity documents, marriage documents, and photographs), and then by person or chronologically within the 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

    Gilbert and Raymond Lachow donated the Lakhovitzky family collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2012.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 13:39:17
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