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Isaac Bitton collection

Document | Not Digitized | RG Number: RG-19.011.03

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    Overview

    Description
    Contains twelve gelatin silver copyprints of Jewish refugees upon arrival in Lisbon, Portugal, and of Jewish refugees at the time of their departure from Lisbon to various destinations.
    Subtitle
    photographs of arrivals of Jewish refugees in Lisbon, Portugal, and their departures to various destinations
    Date
    1941-1943
    Collection Creator
    Isaac Bitton
    Biography
    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

    Genre/Form
    Photographs.
    Extent
    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

    Provenance
    The materials were collected by Isaac Bitton during the years since the Holocaust. They were initially donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum collections department, and later transferred to the archives.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 09:38:42
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn503027

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