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Gaynor I. Jacobson papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 1991.A.0102 | RG Number: RG-34.001

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    Gaynor I. Jacobson papers

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    The Gaynor I. Jacobson papers consist of biographical information, correspondence, photographs, printed material, reports, transcripts, and writings documenting Jacobson’s refugee aid work with the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and especially his work assisting eastern European Jews fleeing anti‐Semitism and Communism.
    Biographical information includes the employment histories of Jacobson as well as author Tad Szulc and Auschwitz survivor Alex Dekel.
    Personal correspondence includes letters from Gaynor to his family describing his relief work and travels in Europe. Additional correspondence documents his work for the JDC, HIAS, and for other aid and refugee organizations and contains personal greetings.
    Photographic materials include photographs of Jacobson with colleagues and friends from HIAS, JDC, and other organizations as well as a 1961 United HIAS Service photo album containing photographs of Jacobson and his colleagues.
    Printed materials include three magazines (an issue of Rescue: United HIAS Service Information Bulletin, an issue of Aonde Vamos? Semanario Judaico Independente Do Brasil, and an issue of Department of State Newsletter) as well as photocopies of clippings about Gaynor I. Jacobson.
    Reports primarily consist of HIAS reports, including four issues of its annual report, a financial and statistical report, and Jacobson’s report for the 85th annual meeting. This series also includes staff meeting minutes that appear to relate to a JDC staff meeting.
    Transcripts document two radio interviews with Jacobson in which he describes his imprisonment in Hungary and release in 1949.
    Writings document displaced persons following World War II and include photocopies of pages from Yehuda Bauer’s book Out of the Ashes, a translation of Inge Deutschekron’s article "The Anonymous Donor from Caracas" mentioning Jacobson, Jacobson’s own articles on Soviet Jewish immigrants and on the Slánský show trial in Czechoslovakia, an article by Chaim Lazdeiski on Jewish refugees in Brazil, and an outline of Tad Szulc’s proposed book about the roles of HIAS and Jacobson in rescuing Jewish families from Eastern Europe after the war. This series also includes a scrapbook of poetry and pasted images that appears to have been created for Jacobson by his colleagues at an organization devoted to aiding Chinese civilians at the outbreak of the Second Sino‐Japanese War.
    inclusive:  1938-1989
    Collection Creator
    Gaynor I. Jacobson
    Gaynor I. Jacobson (1912-1999) was born Israel Gaynor Jacobson in Buffalo and worked for numerous Jewish and aid organizations in Rochester before joining the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) in 1944 as a country director in Italy, Greece, and Czechoslovakia. Over the next six years, he used his diplomatic skills to persuade various governments to take in survivors of the Holocaust. He was especially active in helping hundreds of thousands of refugees move from Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union through Czechoslovakia to Israel and the West. Mr. Jacobson was arrested and jailed for two weeks in 1949 in Hungary for helping Jews leave the country. From 1953 until 1981, Mr. Jacobson directed programs for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), becoming world director in 1966. (edited from New York Times obituary)

    Physical Details

    English Portuguese
    2 boxes
    System of Arrangement
    The Gaynor I. Jacobson papers are arranged as seven series: I. Biographical information, approximately 1953-1981, II. Correspondence, 1940-1989, III. Photographic materials, 1945-1975, IV. Printed materials, 1938-1989, V. Reports, 1951-1980, VI. Transcripts of radio broadcasts, 1949, VII. Writings, 1938-1989

    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
    Jacobson, Gaynor I.

    Administrative Notes

    Gaynor I. Jacobson donated the Gaynor I. Jacobson papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991.
    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:
    2023-08-25 09:38:43
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