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Henry Blumenstein family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2000.388.1

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    Henry Blumenstein family papers

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    The Henry Blumenstein family papers consist of wartime and postwar correspondence among members of the Blumenstein family, with other relatives and friends, and with the Dijkstra family; photographs of the Blumenstein and Dijkstra families in Austria, the Netherlands, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic; and subject files including Franz Blumenstein’s date book, Henry Blumenstein’s identification papers, and emigration and immigration papers.

    Correspondence primarily consists of letters, postcards, and telegrams between Franz and Elsa Blumenstein and, after the war, between Franz and Henry Blumenstein and between Franz Blumenstein and Johannes and Sjoukje Dijkstra. Additional correspondence includes messages from Regina Blumenstein, Fini Hillburn, and other family members and friends. This series includes a postcard from Franz en route to Venezuela, descriptions of Henry, Elsa, and Regina’s plans to emigrate, letters from aboard the MS St. Louis, letters from quarantine in Holland, and notifications to Franz of the death of his mother and wife. Many of the letters from Henry to Franz are written on printed stationery that Franz had sent Henry.

    Photographs depict Franz, Elsa, and Henry Blumenstein, Regina Blumenstein‐Frank, the Dijkstra family, Adolf Frankenstein, and the homes where Elsa and Henry Blumenstein were hidden in the Netherlands. The photographs were taken in Vienna, Havana, Sosúa, and the Netherlands.

    Subject files include Franz Blumenstein’s date book, Henry Blumenstein’s identification papers, and emigration and immigration papers. Franz Blumenstein used the date book as a general purpose notebook to record contact information, his emigration from Austria to the United States via Latin America and eventual return to Austria, correspondence, and accounts. Henry Blumenstein’s identification papers include an Austrian birth certificate, a Dutch child evacuee card in Henry’s false name, and a Dutch identity card for aliens. Emigration and immigration papers include Cuban and Dominican papers regarding the Blumenstein’s emigration plans, correspondence with the Hamburg‐ America Line, the Dominican Republic Settlement Association, the Comité voor Joodsche Vluchtelingen, and the Department of State, and a registration certificate documenting Franz Blumenstein’s return to Austria.
    inclusive:  1916-1994
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Henry Blumenstein
    Collection Creator
    Henry Blumenstein family
    Henry Blumenstein was born Heinz Georg Blumenstein in 1935 in Vienna to Feri (Franz, 1901‐1978) and Elsa Blumenstein (1905‐approximately 1943). Franz was born in Navezamsky, Czechoslovakia, married Elsa in Austria, and operated a successful perfume business in Vienna. He was imprisoned in Dachau following Kristallnacht and, upon his release, emigrated via Venezuela to Cuba where he lived with his sister Fini Hillburn. Henry sailed to Cuba with his mother and grandmother, Regina Blumenstein (1866‐ approximately 1942), aboard the MS St. Louis, but the ship was returned to Europe. The Blumensteins disembarked at Rotterdam and spent two months in the Hejplaat Quarantine Center before moving to Amsterdam. In November 1940, Elsa and Heinz received entry visas for the Dominican Republic, where Franz had joined a Jewish agricultural colony in Sosúa, but they could not obtain exit visas from German‐ occupied Holland. Regina was arrested and sent to Auschwitz but saved Henry by hiding him in a closet. Elsa and Henry fled to northern Holland where Heinz was hidden by Johannes and Sjoukje Dijkstra of Rauwerd (Raerd) under the false name Hans Bakker. Elsa’s separate hiding place was discovered, and in 1943 she was deported to Auschwitz where she perished. Franz immigrated to the Unites States in April 1946 and Henry joined him in September.

    Physical Details

    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The Henry Blumenstein family papers are arranged as three series: I. Correspondence, 1938-1967 (bulk 1938-1946), II. Photographs, 1916-1994, III. Subject files, 1935-1973

    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

    Corporate Name
    St. Louis (Ship)

    Administrative Notes

    Henry Blumenstein donated the Henry Blumenstein family papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2000 and 2002. The accession previously numbered 2002.317.1 has been incorporated into this collection.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Primary Number
    Record last modified:
    2023-03-30 15:18:19
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