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Bella and Hermann Zucker papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.46

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    Bella and Hermann Zucker papers

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    The Bella and Hermann Zucker papers consist of biographical materials, correspondence, a Piaski property file, and restitution files documenting the lives of a Polish couple from Serock and Piaski, Bella Zucker’s experiences hiding under a false identity in Germany, and the couple’s experiences as displaced persons in Germany after the war, abandoned plans to open a bakery in Israel, and unsuccessful attempts to receive restitution.

    Biographical materials include identification and registration papers for Bella and Hermann Zucker, including the papers Bella Zucker used under her false identity, Sabina Mazurek.

    Correspondence files include letters and postcards to Bella and Hermann Zucker during and after the war. Letters addressed to Bella Zucker, under the name Sabina Mazurek, from her Polish friend Bella Laska, under her assumed name Krystyna Karmann, describing Laska’s experience following the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Additional correspondence to Bella Zucker is from a mutual Polish friend of Bella Laska, the Scheibe family, with whom Bella had lived in Langenwolschendorf, and from another friend in that village. Correspondence with Hermann Zucker consists primarily of letters from his brother, Mosze Cukier, after the war, addressed to Hermann as Hersz Cukier, and describing their ultimately abandoned plans to open a bakery in Israel. The correspondence files also contain a letter to Hermann Zucker from friends in Stuttgart written on stationery from a sweet shop bearing Hermann Zucker’s name.

    The Piaski property file contains English, German, and Polish translations of a document describing property Hermann Zucker’s uncle Gerszon Hejnoch Kestelman had purchased in Piaski, Kestelman’s death following the German occupation of Poland, and Hermann Zucker’s sale of that property as his uncle’s surviving heir (under the name Hersz Cukier).

    The restitutions files include correspondence with two lawyers who unsuccessfully tried to help Bella and Hermann Zucker receive restitution for their Holocaust experiences as well as affidavits listing the ghettos and concentration camps where the Zuckers claimed to have been held during the Holocaust, having been told by somebody that embellishing their stories would bolster their chances of receiving compensation.
    inclusive:  1942-1963
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Bella Zucker
    Collection Creator
    Hermann Zucker
    Bella Zucker
    Bella Zucker (1925-2007) was born Bella Kuligowska in Serock (near Warsaw) to bicycle mechanic Bezakel Kuligowski and Chaya Kuligowska (née Cohen). She had five brothers: Abraham, Israel, Joseph, Benjamin, and Vigdor. After the German invasion, the family was forcibly moved to the Biała Podlaska ghetto. Benjamin was in Russia at the time, and Bella never saw him again. In 1940, she hid as a Catholic with a farmer and his wife until her brother Abraham asked her to return to the ghetto in 1941. By that time her brother Israel had died from heart problems and her parents and brother Vigdor had been transferred to Treblinka or Majdanek, where they perished. Bella last saw Abraham at Biała Podlaska and was transferred that fall to the ghetto at Brześć nad Bugiem (now Brest, Belarus), which was the last place she saw her brother Joseph. She escaped Brześć nad Bugiem and hid in a nearby farm, again pretending to be Catholic. She eventually obtained papers under a false identity, moved to Warsaw in the fall of 1942, applied for farm work in Germany, and moved to Langenwolschendorf (in Greiz) in 1943. After the village was liberated by the Americans in April 1945, she was evacuated to the displaced persons camp at Landsberg. In 1947 she married Hermann Zucker (1916-1992), born in Piaski (near Lublin). The couple immigrated to the United States in 1950 with their young daughter and settled in Chicago.

    Physical Details

    11 folders
    System of Arrangement
    The Bella and Hermann Zucker papers are arranged as four series: I. Biographical materials, 1942-1947, II. Correspondence, 1944-1960, III. Piaski property, 1947, IV. Restitution files, 1949-1963

    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

    Bella Zucker donated the Bella and Hermann Zucker papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1999.
    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 14:15:18
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