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Simon Zilberberg collection

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2002.324.1

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    Consists of photographs of Simon Zilberberg and his family before and after World War II and of the Simon's father, Henry, in Pithiviers camp, France; one document relating to Pithiviers; two passports belonging to the Simon's parents; and one New Year's card from 1941, with a painting of Pithiviers by Henry.
    Collection Creator
    Simon Zilberberg
    Simon Zilberberg (born Sylvain Zylberberg) was born on November 3, 1938 in Paris, France to Henry (Chaim-Zelman) Zylberberg from Kalushin (Kaluszyn), Poland, (b. May 2, 1919) and Roza Topola from Sadowna, Poland (b. 1910). Henry was trained as a tailor and left Warsaw, Poland in 1937 to immigrate to France. The family lived in Paris on 20 rue Vilim, Belleville (20ieth arrondisement) prior to World War II.

    After the German invasion of France in 1940, Roza joined the resistance. That same year Henry was arrested and sent to Pithiviers concentration camp. Roza took her son to a Catholic family living in the suburbs of Paris. She was able to visit him occasionally as she was in the resistance and moved around. Simon attended church with this family. He remembers being told that because his mother was a Jew she was not a good person and that he should hide from her. He refused to do so, and eventually he was sent to a different home to live. Simon saw his mother only on a few occasions during the war. Roza survived the war, but died almost immediately afterwards from bad health. Simon's father had been deported to Germany where he was killed.

    After the war, Simon's paternal uncle, David Zilberberg, who had survived in Madagascar came to Paris and found Simon in an orphanage where he had been placed by his mother prior to her death. Simon's mother had also written to an uncle in the United States telling him of Simon's whereabouts. Other relatives, Ben and Rachela Oberman, who had survived in the Soviet Union found Simon in the orphanage and took him to live with them. They were extremely religious and placed him in a religious school. However a fight ensued between the surviving relatives over what type of upbringing was most appropriate for the child. He managed to convince the Obermans to take Simon out of this school and send him to a public school. Simon eventually reaches the Uinted States in 1949 with the help of Stephen Klein, who was the founder of Bartons Candy and who was helping refugees enter the United States.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    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

    Administrative Notes

    The collection was donated by Simon Zilberberg to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2002.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:05:08
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