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Pető family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 1989.250.120

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    Pető family papers

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    The Pető family papers consist of biographical materials, correspondence, a personal narrative, photographs, property records, a newspaper, and a ticket documenting Judith Pető Leiber and her family, her early career in handbag design, her uncle’s experiences as a refugee in Nice, her family’s survival in Budapest, the confiscation or loss of her relatives’ property, and efforts to recuperate it.
    Biographical materials include birth and marriage certificates; education and employments records; and identification papers documenting Judith Pető Leiber and her parents, sister, grandparents, and great grandparents. They also include permits and certificates documenting Emil Pető’s status during the German occupation of Hungary.
    Correspondence primarily documents efforts by the Pető family and by Sandor Wolf to help Judith’s uncle Zsigmond Schönberger who had fled to Nice with his wife. Correspondence from Nice includes letters and postcards from Schönberger as well as from friends and contacts he had there. Some of the correspondence from Nice also documents Judith Pető Leiber’s early career in handbag design.
    The personal narrative is a 1956 account by Emil Pető of his role on the Budapest Jewish Council, providing information to neutral countries about deportations, going into hiding in late 1944, and moving to Brazil in 1954.
    Photographs depict Judith Pető Leiber, her sister, their parents, their grandparents, their great grandparents, their uncle Zsigmond Schönberger, his wife Lola, and the family’s Spitzer and Bogyansky relatives.
    Property records document the confiscation, loss, and efforts to recover property belonging to the Pető, Schönberger, and Bogyansky families, including Emil Pető’s jewelry business and vineyard, the Bogyansky hat business, personal property, and financial assets.
    The collection also includes a 1944 issue of A Magyar Zsidok Lapja issuing restrictions on Jewish activities in Budapest and a ticket for the coronation of Emperor Karl IV in 1916.
    inclusive:  1855-1977
    Collection Creator
    Pető family
    Judith Pető Leiber was born in Budapest to Emil and Helene Pető. When her education in chemistry was interrupted by World War II, she was admitted to the handbag guild in Hungary. She survived the war with her parents and sister, Eva, in Budapest using false papers. After the end of the war she met and married Gus (Gerson) Leiber, an American soldier, sailed with him to America in 1946, and became a famous handbag designer. Meanwhile, her father's brother Zsigmond Schönberger, who had been working in Vienna, fled to Nice with his wife, and they were interned at Drancy and deported to Auschwitz. Emil and Helene Pető moved to Israel after the war.

    Physical Details

    1 box
    4 oversize folders
    System of Arrangement
    The Pető family papers are arranged as seven series: I. Biographical materials, 1855-1977, II. Correspondence, 1938-1946, III. Personal narrative, 1956, IV. Photographs, approximately 1900-1940, V. Property records, 1938-1965, VI. Newspaper, A Magyar Zsidok Lapja, 1944, VII. Ticket, 1915

    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
    Leiber, Judith.

    Administrative Notes

    Judith Pető Leiber donated the Pető family papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1989 and 2004. Eva Ecker added materials in 1989 and 2005. Accessions previously cataloged as 1989.255.1, 2004.383.1 and 2005.284.1 have 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:
    2023-04-11 09:37:57
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