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Jacob Fischler papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2005.355.1

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    The papers consist of a letter written by Rabbi Moise Cassorla on September 8, 1941, attesting to a Bar Mitzvah ceremony to take place in Toulouse, France on September 20, 1941; a telegram sent to Sabina Fischler [donor's mother] by Jacob Fischler and his brother, Alexander; an identification tag from the American Joint Distribution Committee worn by Jacob Fischler (#43) and issued in Barcelona, Spain; a ticket issued in Bracelona on January 18, 1944; a letter written from Reichenberg (Liberec), Czechoslovakia, by Hermann Fischler [donor's father]; a letter written in English from Sabina Fischler to her sons; and thirteen family photographs relating to the experiences of Jacob Fischler during the Holocaust.
    inclusive:  1941-1944
    Collection Creator
    Jacob Fischler
    Hans (later Jacques, now Jaakov) Jacques Fischler is the son of Hermann (Zvi) Fischler (b. October 17, 1898) and Sabina Estlein Fischler (b. September 30, 1899). Hans was born in Lancut, Poland, in August 1928, and the following month, his family moved to Liberec (Reichenberg), Czechoslovakia, where Hermann owned a large fabric store. He has one brother, Alexandra, who is three years younger. Jaakov attended public elementary school and spoke German at home. The family remained in Liberec until 1938.
    After Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland, the Fischlers moved to Prague, Czechoslovakia, where they lived as refugees. They had planned to immigrate to Australia and had even sent their luggage to France, but their papers did not arrive on time. Hermann, therefore, decided to send his two sons - then ages eight and eleven - to France to join some cousins. Jaakov had met the son of the French Consul of Prague at a sports camp, and the Consul arranged for French visas for him and his brother in 1939. Jaakov and Alexandre attended school in Toulouse, France. In 1943, when the conditions worsened, their relatives decided to hid Jaakov and Alexandre in a Christian boarding school called Pensionat St. Joseph. The Brothers who ran the school belonged to the Order of St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle. Only the principal knew they were Jewish. He gave the brothers a separate room and privacy while washing.
    At the end of 1943, as the Germans presence became even more pronounced, Jaakov’s cousins decided to try and escape with Jaakov. They went by car to Perpignan, France, near the Spanish border; Alexandre followed two weeks later. They then paid German soldiers to take them to the border; the soldiers were going to Spain to bring back goods to sell on the black market. However, Spanish guards caught them near the border and took them into custody. They were taken to Gerona, Spain, and Jaakov was placed in an orphanage where he was treated very well. The teachers were young Spanish students who were happy to practice their French. Most of the other children were Spanish Civil War orphans. The Spanish government cooperated with the Jewish organizations, and in a few weeks, they were set free. His cousins were sent to separate family prisons. Jaakov and his brother lived in Barcelona, Spain, for a few months until they had the opportunity to sail to Palestine via Portugal. They arrived in Palestine in January 1944 on the Portuguese ship “Nyassa.” After spending a few days in Atlit, they eventually were sent by Aliyat HaNoar to Mossad Ahava in Kiryat Byalik (near Haifa) for two years.
    When Jaakov’s parents realized that they could not immigrate to Australia, they returned to relatives living in the Soviet sector of Poland. However, since they were more afraid of the Soviets, they crossed over to the German-controlled zone. They hoped to reach Romania, but they arrived in Kolomya, Poland (a town near the border) they were told that all Jews had to register. Sabina, who was ill, did not register, but Hermann went as directed. He never returned. Sabina survived World War II in hiding with a Christian family using the papers of a deceased woman. After the war, she searched for her children thinking they were in Toulouse. Finally someone in the French consulate in Kroków, Poland, who had been in the French Army with one of their cousins was able to locate the boys in Israel. Eventually Sabina joined her sons in Israel in 1949.

    Physical Details

    French English German
    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Jacob Fischler papers are 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

    Jacob Fischler donated the Jacob Fischler papers 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:
    2024-04-01 11:41:52
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