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Bernard Lee papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 1991.A.0039 | RG Number: RG-10.064.01

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    Overview

    Description
    Consists of documents relating to Bernard Lee (formerly Berek (Bernhard) Lieberman) and the Lieberman family of Łódź, Poland. Among the documents are birth certificates of the Lieberman children, photographs of family gatherings, and documents issued by occupation authorities after the liberation of Dachau concentration camp.
    Collection Creator
    Bernard Lee
    Biography
    Bernard Lee (born Bernard Lieberman) was born in December, 1920 in Pabianice, Poland to Josef and Gitla
    (née Rosenthal) Lieberman. He had four brothers and four sisters. Bernard’s father had various
    professions including watchmaker and religious studies. Bernard considered his family as both
    distinguished and religious (Hasidim). He had only little contact with non-Jews while young, but
    remembers frequent outbursts of anti-Semitism, especially as the war approached.

    Before the war, Bernard worked in textile manufacturing. A few days after the war started in
    1938, his family went to nearby Łódź but returned home as there were no escape routes. He
    learned early on not to rely on old friendships when a Volkdeutscher he knew ignored him
    entirely. Bernard volunteered for a drafting of Jews to a labor camp. His younger brother
    sought to replace him, but Bernard refused. On the march to the train Bernard saw his mother
    and any members of his family for the last time. He was sent to a camp at Będzin, which was
    then on the Polish/Germany border from May 1941 to July/August 1943. He describes life in the
    camp.

    Bernard was then transferred by train to Auschwitz, stayed for a night and he then moved to
    Birkenau. In winter, 1943, he was sent to the Warsaw ghetto, which was burned out from the
    earlier Jewish uprising. He caught typhus which was rampant, but survived. In July/August,
    1944, his commander was told to evacuate his group to Dachau or kill them all; they made it to
    Dachau. Bernard describes his life there, especially his work in the kitchen.

    One day, they were sent on a march to an unknown destination. After three days, Bernard
    escaped the group by hiding in barracks, and then hiding amongst other prisoners.
    The American army liberated him on May 8, 1945. After a few days, he went on his own to
    Munich and contacted Herut Israel. He worked with them to organize kitchens for refugees,
    which he continued for his remainder of time in Germany. Bernard also began to search for any
    survivors of his immediate family, but found none. He was able to find and visit his Aunt and a
    cousin in Italy who were about to immigrate to Israel.

    Bernard and his wife traveled to Israel illegally to help with its independence, but he was not
    assigned to fight. He remained in Israel for 8-9 years, but immigrated to the U.S. with his wife’s
    sister and her husband. Eventually, he went to Chicago and after two years went to California.
    Barbara Schwartz Lee, PhD. is his wife, a noted Holocaust scholar. They married in Germany on
    July 4, 1945. Bernard build a memorial for his family on Mount Olive in Jerusalem.

    Physical Details

    Language
    Polish English
    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
    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
    Lee, Bernard.

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The materials were collected by Bernard Lee after the Holocaustand were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:00:24
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn503695

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