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Altenberg family papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2003.360.1

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    The Altenberg family papers include photographs, cultural programs and posters, and printed material documenting the Altenberg family of Antwerp, the work of Bernard Altenberg’s photo studio, and the educational and cultural work of the Jewish Artisan Association and Jewish Zugob school at 115 Lange Kievitstraat before and after the Holocaust. The programs and posters feature Marcel Pfeffer Patin and Annie Rutzky among other performers.
    inclusive:  1931-circa 2000
    bulk:  1931-1946
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Anna Altenberg-Burshtain
    Collection Creator
    Anna Altenberg-Burshtain
    Anna Altenberg-Burshtain (born Anna Altenberg) was the daughter of Necha (Markowicz) and Bernard (Berek) Altenberg, both of whom immigrated to Belgium from Tomaszów Mazowiecki and Kałuszyn, Poland in the interwar period. Anna was born in 1932 in Antwerp, where her father was a photographer and the owner of a large photo studio called Bernard Studios. He was also the inventor of the first electric copier, which he displayed at the 1930 World's Fair. Anna had three sisters: Rebecca (b. 1931), Frederica (Frieda, b. 1936) and Micheline (Mieneke, b. 1939).

    After receiving an order to Aryanize his business, Bernard sold his studio to a non-Jewish friend, Mr. Lontie, who returned it after the war. In June 1942 when the large scale round-ups of Jews began, the Altenbergs decided to go into hiding. The four girls were placed with a non-Jewish family, while Bernard and Necha hid separately and moved frequently to avoid capture. Their last hiding place was with the Van Gaal family. While in hiding Bernard assisted the Belgian resistance by drawing stamps for false papers. After the four girls had been in hiding for a few months, their rescuers, fearing arrest, sent the girls back to their parents. Lacking other alternatives, Bernard and Necha placed the girls in the Jewish orphanage in Antwerp that was run by the AJB (Association des Juifs de Belgique), the official Jewish administration. In November 1943, the orphanage was forced to relocate to Lasne. Immediately after the liberation, Bernard and Necha retrieved their daughters. Though all of their immediate relatives survived the war, many of their extended family perished, including Bernard's brother, Shmuel Altenberg, two sisters, Raszka Altenberg-Zebrachi and Feige Altenberg-Szafir, and their families.

    Physical Details

    Yiddish Hebrew Dutch
    7 folders
    8 oversize folders
    System of Arrangement
    The Altenberg family papers are arranged by subject.

    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

    Anna Altenberg-Burshtain donated the Altenberg family papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003.
    Record last modified:
    2023-04-04 11:39:04
    This page:

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