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Elizabeth Margosches family papers

Document | Accession Number: 2002.436.1

The Elizabeth Margosches family papers consist of biographical materials, correspondence, photographs, books and other printed materials, design artwork, immigration files, restitution files, and subject files documenting the lives of the Margosches and Reik families in Czechoslovakia, France, England, the United States, and Brazil before, during, and after World War II. The papers are particularly strong in documenting Karl and Irene Margosches’ efforts to leave Czechoslovakia and eventually immigrate to the United States. The papers also contain a unique diary that Helene Reik composed in Theresienstadt on the backs and in the margins of correspondence and photographs she had brought to the camp or received in the camp.
Biographical materials primarily consist of identification papers, forms, certificates, correspondence, and clippings documenting the lives of Irene and Karl Margosches in Czechoslovakia, France, England, and the United States. This series also includes a handful of folders documenting the lives of Karl’s father B. M. (Max) Margosches, his sister Betty Margosches, his first fiancée Herta Langerova, Irene Margosches’ sister Margarete Reik, and Karl and Irene’s daughter Elizabeth.
Books consist of five German volumes on music, science, theater, and history owned by Karl Margosches.
Correspondence primarily consists of letters and postcards between Irene and Karl Margosches and their family members and friends. The collection also includes correspondence between Helene Reik and her children and Kurt Reik and his family. Topics include plans to emigrate, descriptions of daily life in wartime and postwar Czechoslovakia, England, Brazil, and Canada, and the Margosches family’s postwar life in Princeton. Additional correspondence between Helene Reik and her children can be found among Helene Reik’s Theresienstadt materials.
Design artwork by Irene Margosches consists of student assignments from the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna in the 1930s and professional work created in Czechoslovakia and England in the 1930s and 1940s. The artwork includes pencil, ink, and water color sketches, studies, and designs for clothing, costumes, and furniture. Small fabric samples are attached to some of the designs.
Helene Reik’s Theresienstadt materials consist primarily of family correspondence and family photographs Reik brought with her to Theresienstadt or received while there. She used the margins and versos of many of these records to keep diary entries documenting her time at Theresienstadt in the hospital and nursing home, the illnesses she suffered, the operations she underwent, her memories of her family life before the camp, and her hopes and fears for herself and her children.
Immigration files consist of affidavits, applications, correspondence, forms, invoices, and receipts documenting the Margosches’ movements from Czechoslovakia to France, England, and the United States.
Photographic materials include a Margosches family album, two travel albums documenting vacations in Germany and Italy, a photo album documenting some of Irene Margosches’ interior designs from 1930s Czechoslovakia, and loose photographs of Karl and Betty Margosches, the Max B. Margosches family in Canada, and Helene, Charlotte, and Margarida Reik. Additional Reik family photographs can be found among the Helene Reik’s Theresienstadt materials.
Printed materials consist of chemistry articles, some by B. M. (Max) Margosches and Karl Margosches; clippings on immigration and refugee issues, finding work, and Irene Margosches’ clothing designs; British government publications on wartime provisions, labor, and education; brochures from English hotels; and programs from cultural events in England.
Restitution files consist of correspondence, applications, bank records, and forms documenting the Margosches and Reik families’ efforts to receive restitution for property, furnishings, jewelry, securities, insurance policies, and pensions confiscated, lost, interrupted, or damaged during the war.
Subject files consist of bibliographies and patent research regarding chemical processes, research into the Holocaust fates of Karl Margosches’ mother and sister, unsuccessful patent applications by Karl Margosches, a group of recipes, a handful of prescriptions and pharmacy envelopes, addresses, and an estimate for the conservation of damaged portraits.

creation:  1888-2010
11 boxes
3 oversize folders
1 book enclosure
4 oversize boxes
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Elizabeth Margosches
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:11:41
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