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Isaac Bitton collection

Document | Not Digitized | RG Number: RG-19.011.01

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    Contains 12 gelatin silver copyprints of Jewish refugees in Lisbon, Portugal, from 1939 to 1944. Descriptions by Isaac Bitton [donor] are provided on the reverse side of each photograph.
    photographs of Jewish refugees in Lisbon, Portugal
    inclusive:  1939-1944
    Collection Creator
    Isaac Bitton
    Isaac Bitton was born on March 31, 1926 to Isaac and Simy (Shocrun) in Lisbon, Portugal. In 1943 or 1944, he and his brother, Joseph, immigrated to Palestine where he joined the ranks of the Palestine Police Railroad Division followed by the Jewish Brigade of the British Army where he served in Belgium. At the end of the war, Bitton returned to Palestine where he worked as an undercover agent for the Haganah before joining the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) from 1947 to 1951 as a Sergeant Major. He rejoined the army in 1956 during the Suez Crisis. In 1959, he immigrated to the United States, with his wife, Miriam, and three children, Tamar, Daniel, and Michael, eventually settling down in Woodstock, Illinois. Here he became a successful executive and business community leader. He died on July 14, 2006.

    As a young man, Isaac worked in the Lisbon “soup kitchen” to feed the Jewish refugees prior to WWII. While there, he met the disgraced Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes. Mendes had been dismissed from his post in Bordeaux, France for disobeying orders by granting visas to thousands of Jews fleeing Nazi oppression. Bitton was active in getting "Righteous Among the Nations" recognition for Mendes.

    [from Finding Aid of Isaac Bitton Papers at the American Sephardi Federation at the Center for Jewish History]

    Physical Details

    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    Arrangement is thematic

    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.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Lisbon (Portugal)

    Administrative Notes

    The materials were collected by Isaac Bitton during the years since the Holocaust. They were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1990.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-24 13:46:46
    This page:

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