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Robert Hofmekler papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 1991.206

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    The Robert Hofmekler papers consist of photographs and printed materials documenting the Hofmekler family of Lithuania. Photographs depict members of the Hofmekler family before, during, and after World War II and members of the Kovno Ghetto Orchestra including Michael and Motel Hofmekler, Avraam Abramson, Elia and Mordecai Borstein, Boris Koriski, Michael Lin, and Boris and Shmaya (Alexander) Stupel. Printed materials include programs and clippings documenting Leo Hofmekleris, the Ballet de Monte Carlo, and the Lithuanian National Ballet. A September 1948 issue of From the Last Extermination: Journal for the HIstory of the Jewish People During the Nazi Regime includes articles about the Kovno ghetto, among other topics.
    inclusive:  1920-1957
    Collection Creator
    Robert Hofmekler
    Robert Hofmekler (1905-1994) was born Reuben Hofmekler to Motel and Bertha Hofmekler in Lithuania on December 6, 1905. Over the years, the family spelled their name as Gofmekler, Hofmekler, and Hofmekleris. Robert grew up in Vilna with his brothers Michael, Leon (Leib), and Daniel and sister Zelda (Zhenya). He and his sister fled to Kaunas (Kovno) with their parents in 1920, fearing oppression by the Polish Army in Vilna. Robert immigrated to the United States in the fall of 1938, where he was known as Robert Hofmekler (or Hoffy). He was drafted into the US Army in January 1941 and served 5 years with the 9th Infantry and the 10th Armored Division. In June 1945 he found his brother Michael, a violinist, at the St. Ottilian monastery in Germany. Michael had survived the Kaunas ghetto and was convalescing at the monastery with a group of other survivors after they were evacuated with the advance of the US Forces in late April of 1945. His brother Leon perished in the Vilnius ghetto in 1942 of 1943 along with his wife Sonya (nee Levin), and their children Garrick and Tamara. His parents Motel and Bertha were murdered in a Kaunas ghetto raid in early 1944. His sister Zelda and her daughter Froma were murdered during the Kaunas ghetto liquidation, and her husband David Kovarsky was murdered by Lithuanian collaborators during the early days of the Nazi occupation of Kaunas. Hofmekler was discharged from the Army in 1945. He taught cello in McLean, Virginia, played chamber music, and organized the cellos in the DC Youth Orchestra. He died in McLean, Virginia, on 26 September 1994.

    Physical Details

    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Robert Hofmekler papers are arranged in a single file.

    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

    Administrative Notes

    Robert Hofmekler donated his papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991.
    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:
    2023-09-29 09:13:11
    This page:

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