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Spreekmeester family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.75

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    Spreekmeester family papers

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    The collection documents the efforts of the Spreekmeester family of Amsterdam, The Netherlands to prove their English ancestry and citizenship in order to obtain British passports for emigration and to avoid deportation to a concentration camp. The majority of the correspondence is with the Embassy of Switzerland in Berlin, and regards efforts to obtain British passports for Emanuel and Rebecca Spreekmeester and their two sons Philip Alfred and Alfred Arthur. Documents in1943-1944 were written after the family was deported to the Westerbork concentration camp, and then Bergen-Belsen. The majority of the collection are photocopies or photostats of the originals.
    inclusive:  1942-1944
    Collection Creator
    Spreekmeester family
    Emanuel Spreekmeester (1883-1963) was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Israel (1860-1931) and Bloeme (née Abas; 1860-1940) Spreekmeester. He married Rebecca Rodrigues (1892-1984), the daughter of Philip (1870-1926) and Debora (1872-1942) Rodrigues, in 1910. They had five children: Florence (1911-1989), Daisy Emily (later Daisy Emily van Dijk; 1912-2013), Isidore Leonard (1914-2000), Philip Alfred (1924-1986); and Alfred Arthur (1935-). Emanuel worked as an accountant for Warner Brothers Pictures. After the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1940, Florence and Isidore went into hiding for the duration of the war. Daisy, who was married to a non-Jew, was not deported and endured the war in Amsterdam. Emanuel, Rebecca, Philip, and Alfred were deported to the Westerbork concentration camp in April 1943. After approximately six months, they were briefly sent to the Amersfoort concentration camp and then back to Westerbork. Around the end of 1943 the Spreekmeesters were transported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. In November 1944, in part due to efforts by Emanuel’s brother in England, the family was part of a prisoner exchange with German prisoners-of-war, and were sent to Stalag V C in Offenburg, Germany. They remained there until they were liberated by the French army. After liberation, the family spent six months in a refugee camp in Scotland, and then returned to Amsterdam in December 1945.

    Physical Details

    Dutch German English
    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as one series.

    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

    Geographic Name
    Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    Administrative Notes

    Alfred Spreekmeester donated this collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives on Dec. 15, 1997.
    Record last modified:
    2023-05-26 09:55:06
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