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The Spiegel family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 1988.57.1 | RG Number: RG-10.257

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    The Spiegel family papers consists of correspondence and photographs concerning brothers, Leo, Sam, Max, David, Isaac, and Joshua and their families’ experiences during the Holocaust and in the years immediately following. The correspondence is comprised of letters, postcards, and envelopes and was primarily sent to Sam, David, and Max in the United States by family and friends in Leipzig, Germany and the Soviet Union between 1938 and 1949. These documents largely described family member’s emigration and eventual deaths in concentration camps. The photographs depict Jewish family life in prewar Leipzig and include several images of the Spiegel family and friends.

    The Spiegel family papers consist of correspondence and photographs. The correspondence is in the form of letters and postcards and was primarily received by Sam, David, and Max in the late 1930s and 1940s once they had all settled in the United States. The correspondence was largely written to the brothers from friends and family back in Germany detailing plans for emigration and their family’s fate in concentration camps. Two postcards were sent to Sam from Leo, who was imprisoned in a work camp in the Soviet Union at the time. Several postcards were sent from Leo's wife Sara while she was still in Leipzig in 1940, presumably before her deportation. Among the correspondence are two letters from different United States members of Congress regarding the status of Uri and Ruth's visas for emigration. Also comprised in this collection is a photocopy of Uri's report card from religious school in 1934 and several envelopes, many of which were opened by Nazi censors.

    The photographs document the Spiegel family’s life before the Holocaust and include images of friends, family, and their Rabbi. Many of the photographs are of Uri as a child playing with friends and younger sister Ruth, and with his classmates between 1930 and 1932 at a public school in Leipzig. Two photographs of Gittel and Getzel and one of Leo are comprised in the collection.
    inclusive:  1913-1949
    Collection Creator
    Spiegel family
    The Spiegel family comprises Gittel and Getzel Spiegel’s six sons and their spouses: Leo (Sara Selmi), Joshua (Fanni), Isaac, David (Solla), Max (Bertha), and Sam. Originally from Poland, the Spiegel family moved to Leipzig, Germany in the 1920s. Upon the rise of the Nazi regime, the Spiegel brothers, along with their wives and children, fled to various part of the world. Isaac and Joshua fled to Israel; David, Sam, and Max immigrated to the United States, where David and Max later opened a fur store in Washington, D.C. and Sam settled in New York City; and Leo remained in Germany. In the 1940s, Leo was forced into conscribed labor in the Soviet Union and his wife, Sara was deported to Theresienstadt. They both perished sometime shortly thereafter. Around the time of their deportation, their children, Uri “Harry” (1924-1972) and Ruth (1930-1974), were sent to London and eventually immigrated to the United States aboard the MS Stefan Batory in 1947.

    Physical Details

    16 folders
    System of Arrangement
    The Spiegel family papers are arranged as two series:
    Series 1: Correspondence, 1938-1949 and undated
    Series 2: Photographs, 1913-1935 and undated

    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 papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Masha Spiegel in 1988.
    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:
    2022-07-28 18:10:45
    This page:

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