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Rachel Szpigelman Rappaport collection

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2000.577.1

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    The Rachel Szpigelman Rappaport photograph collection consists of photographs depicting the Rachel Szpigelman Rappaport, her sisters, and mother during and after the war; and one vintage portrait photocopy print of four of the Rachel's sisters, who perished in Auschwitz, and of her father, who died six weeks before the liberation. The photographs were taken in Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland.
    creation:  1942-1945
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Rachel Szpigelman
    Collection Creator
    Rachel S. Rappaport
    Rachel Szpigelman Rappaport was born on May 30, 1930 in Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland. She was the youngest daughter of Majer Szpigelman, who was an owner of a coalmine in a nearby town of Strzemieszyce. Her mother, Etel Rapaport Szpigelman took care of her seven children: Menachem Manek; Chana Szaindl called big Sala (Sala duża); Fela Fajgl; Chaja Sara called little Sala (Sala mała); Zosia Zisl; Lodzia Liebl and Ruchl, the donor. The family lived in a corner house on Sobieskiego and 3-go Maja Streets. After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 they were forced to move to a house on Żeromskiego Street, where they lived until winter of 1943, when they were forced to move to the Środula ghetto. On August 1, 1943 the Germans liquidated the ghetto and four of Rachel’s sisters: Chana Sheindl, Fela, Chaja Sara and Zosia were deported to the Auschwitz death camp where they perished. Lodzia was taken to a labor camp Ober Altstadt and Rachel, her parents and her brother Manek managed to escape the deportation place in the ghetto. At first they hid in the abandoned “ohel” grave of a Rabbi at the Jewish cemetery. They stayed there until Rachel was sent to see the family’s former maid, Janka Frydrych in Gołonóg, near Dąbrowa Górnicza. Janka lived in one room apartment, which she gave to the Szpigelman family and she moved to another location. Rachel, who was a blond and looked “Aryan”, was often sent on errands to buy food and exchange US dollars for German marks. The family had to move often, sometimes living in abandoned houses or at the cemetery. Often times they were discovered by Polish passersby but were not denounced. In the fall of 1944 Manek found employment, posing as a Pole. His co-worker, Mr. Kune, a Silesian, took the family in, as he expected the Russians to liberate the area soon. The Szpigelman family lived with Kune for two months – November and December 1944. They pretended to be refugees from Warsaw. In December 1944 they had to flee again, as the fear from denunciation grew and went back to the cemetery. Majer Szpigelman died there some six weeks before the liberation. At the end of January 1945 the Red Army liberated the Zaglebie area and Rachel, together with her mother and brother moved back to their apartment in Dąbrowa Górnicza. Lodzia returned from the labor camp and soon after she got married and settled in Dzierzoniów. As the fears of anti Jewish pogroms grew in Dąbrowa Górnicza, Rachel and her family moved in with Lodzia. Lodzia and her husband emigrated to the United States and wanted very much her remaining family to come with her. In 1949 Etel Szpigelman, with her children Rachel and Manek immigrated to Israel. Rachel married Bernard Israel Dov Rappaport and settled in Ramat Gan, where she currently resides.

    Physical Details

    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Rachel Szpigelman Rappaport photograph collection is arranged in a single 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

    Administrative Notes

    Rachel Szpigelman Rappaport donated the Rachel Szpigelman Rappaport photograph collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2000.
    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:
    2023-02-24 14:09:24
    This page:

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