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Paula Balkin correspondence

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 1995.A.0812

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    Paula Balkin correspondence

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    Paula Balkin correspondence is comprised of letters between Balkin and her family and friends. Letters and postcards document the lives of Paula Balkin; her parents Abraham (Otto) and Gertrude (Trude) Grünbaum and her sister Edith; Balkin’s grandmother Rose Schmulewitz; Balkin’s uncle and aunt Leo and Eva Schmulewitz; Balkin’s uncle and aunt Abraham (Adolf) and Clara (Clärchen) Koppold and their children Harold, Siegmar, and Zilla; Balkin’s aunt Yette Ribetzki Pietrkowski and her daughter Vera; and family friends Marjane Mitdank and Johanna (Hanni or Hans) Wagner in Leipzig.
    Most of the correspondence dating from 1939‐1941 is addressed to Balkin and her sister and cousins and comes from her parents, aunts and uncles, and grandmother. The letters relate the family’s experiences in Leipzig and efforts to emigrate, and they trace Balkin’s parents’ movement from Leipzig to Budapest and Salonika. Many of these letters have multiple addressees and multiple signatories as family members would use the opportunity to include several messages in a single piece of correspondence.
    The correspondence dating from 1946‐1948 documents Balkin’s efforts to locate her parents. Family friends Marjane Mitdank and Hanni Wagner describe their own experiences in Leipzig during the war, relate the experiences of the Schmulewitz, Grünbaum, and Koppold families during the war, and contribute to the search for information about their fates. They relate the deportation of Adolf Koppold to Sachsenhausen and the deportation of Rose Schmulewitz, Clärchen Koppold, and Yette Ribetzki Pietrkowski to Riga. The later letters also include correspondence from Arnold Levy about securing an appropriate home for Siegmar Koppold, correspondence from the Becker family who were relatives of the Koppold family, and correspondence from the American Red Cross indicating that Abraham Grünbaum died in Dachau and that Gertrude Grünbaum could not be traced.
    inclusive:  1939-1948
    Collection Creator
    Paula R. Balkin
    Paula Balkin was born Paula Grünbaum in 1924 to Abraham (Otto) and Gertrude (Trude) Grünbaum (nee Schmulewitz). On June 15, 1939, she was part of a Kindertransport to London, England. Her cousin Vera had already arrived in England, her sister Edith joined her in July, and her cousins Harold, Siegmar, and Zilla Koppold followed shortly thereafter. In 1947 Balkin immigrated to the United States, and in 2002 she published a book about her experiences, Strong Family Ties: A Story in Letters.
    The Library at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum also holds Paula Balkin’s 2002 book Strong Family Ties: A Story in Letters, which includes English translations of most of the letters in this collection. An oral history interview with Balkin dated November 29, 1996, which forms part of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive, can be accessed via the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Library. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum also holds the Vera Nussenbaum papers, donated by Balkin’s cousin Vera Nussenbaum, containing additional correspondence complementing the Paula Balkin correspondence.

    Physical Details

    German English
    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as a single series: Series 1: Correspondence, 1939-1948

    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

    Personal Name
    Nussenbaum, Vera.

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1995 by Paula R. Balkin
    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:
    2023-02-24 13:50:16
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