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George Schwab photograph collection

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2005.94.1

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    The George Schwab photograph collection consists of twenty photographs relating to the experiences of George Schwab during the Holocaust. Seventeen photographs are images from Blankensee displaced persons camp near Hamburg, Germany; images on board the "Marine Perch" to the United States; and images from Bremen and Berlin, Germany. Three photographs depict images from Rīga, Latvia.
    inclusive:  1936-1948
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of George D. Schwab
    Collection Creator
    George D. Schwab Ph.D.
    George David Schwab was born on November 25, 1931 in Libau (Liepaja in the Latvian), Latvia. His father, Arkadi Jakob Aron Schwab, b. 1884, was a gastroenterologist and his mother, Klara Jakobson Schwab, b. 1903, was a trained musician. George had an older brother, Bernhard Boris Schwab, who was born in 1921. The family resided on Korn Strasse 27 (Graudu iela in the Latvian) and their phone number was 540. After the Soviet occupation of Latvia in June 1940, the Schwabs were removed from their apartment by the Soviets in Fall of 1940. The German occupation of Libau started at the end of June 1941, which was followed by anti-Jewish excesses, mass arrests, and massacres. In a mass action against Jews, Arkadi Jakob Schwab was among those arrested in July 1941, tortured and killed. Among the jobs that Klara Schwab was forced to endure in Libau included that of chambermaid to the Latvian mistress of the head of the SD. Bernhard Boris was forced to work as an automobile electrician for the Wehrmacht. The Libau ghetto was established in mid 1942 and George became a runner for the ghetto commandant. The ghetto was liquidated at the beginning of October 1943, on the eve of Yom Kippur, and the surviving Jews were transported in cattle cars to the Riga concentration camp Kaiserwald. In Riga, George and his mother worked at the Tanklager (a fuel storage depot and also a maintenance facility for military vehicles) and Bernhard Boris was transported to Kasernierung (work camp) Reichsbahn, also in Riga. Known as one of the better work camps, George’s mother succeeded in bribing the commandant of the work camp in return for George joining his brother. With the approach of the Soviet army in 1944, the work camp was liquidated, Bernhard Boris was slaughtered at the Rumbula forest near Riga in a mass action carried out by the Nazis and their Latvian collaborators, and George was shipped at the beginning of August 1944 to the Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig. Aboard ship he met his mother. After spending six months at the Reichsbahn work camp in Stolop, Pomerania, George was taken to the concentration camps Burggraben and Stutthof and at the end of April 1945 to Danzig where prisoners were chased onto barges finally landing on May 3, 1945 in Neustadt/Holstein. Later on that day he was liberated by the British. Suffering from general bodily weakness he was hospitalized twice in Neustadt. After the second time he was taken by the British to a Latvian children’s home five kilometers from Neustadt. George escaped, returned to the DP camp and soon thereafter left for Hamburg in search of relatives. There he spent nine months on the Warburg estate which had been transformed into a children’s home. He was reunited with his mother in Berlin in May 1946 and left Germany for New York on the American troop carrier “Marine Perch” in February 1947. A resident of New York since his arrival, he obtained his Ph.D. and MA from Columbia University and BA from the City College of New York. George began his teaching career at Columbia in the late 1950s and retired in 2000, after a forty year association as a professor of history at the City University of New York (City College and Graduate Center). In 1974 he was a cofounder, with the late Professor Hans J. Morgenthau, of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. George has been its president since 1993.

    Physical Details

    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The George Schwab 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

    Personal Name
    Schwab, George.

    Administrative Notes

    Dr. George D. Schwab donated the George Schwab photograph collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005.
    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 14:14:14
    This page:

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