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Siegmund Sobel papers

Document | Accession Number: 1999.1.1

The collection documents the pre-war, wartime, and post-war experiences of Siegmund Sobel, originally of Vienna, Austria, and his wife Gertrude Sobel, including their emigration from Vienna to Shanghai, China in 1939, their emigration from Shanghai to Israel in 1949, and immigration to the United States in 1951. Included is biographical material, immigration paperwork, photographs, and 141 homemade photograph albums made by Siegmund chronicling his life before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Biographical material includes pre-war, wartime, and post-war documents of Siegmund and Gertrude, as well also material relating to Gertrude’s mother Viktoria Wertheimer, and other relatives in the Sobel and Wertheimer families. Papers of Siegmund include report cards, documents related to his medical practices in Austria, Shanghai, and the United States, birth certificates, identification papers, restitution, papers regarding his death in 1963, and an essay describing the bookbinding process he used for making his photograph albums. Gertrude’s biographical material includes identification papers, birth certificates, report cards, medical papers, notes, and documents regarding her Austrian pension. Other material includes Siegmund and Gertrude’s marriage certificate, some identification papers of Viktoria and other relatives, a small amount of correspondence, and various receipts.

Immigration papers include paperwork documenting Siegmund and Gertrude’s immigration to Shanghai in 1939, Israel in 1950, and the United States in 1951. Shanghai documents include the itinerary of the SS Giulio Cesare, identification cards, receipts and documents from several Jewish organizations Siegmund belonged to in Shanghai. Israel documents consist of identification cards, inventories, and their ticket from Haifa to Marseille, France as part of the first leg of their journey to the United States. Immigration papers related to the United States documents their attempts to get visas while in Austria in 1938 and during the war in Shanghai. Included are Affidavits of Support, tickets, medical forms, and Declaration of Intention forms.

Miscellaneous material consists of an Ärzte-Jahrbuch cardboard box, a folded issue of Aufbau in its mailing wrapper from 3 July 1963, a Sine Calsum Tablet binder used in Shanghai with Siegmund’s last name printed on the cover, and a folded poster entitled The Synagogue: it’s holy objects and their significance.

Photographs include pre-war, wartime, and post-war depictions of Siegmund and Gertrude including portraits and travel photographs. Also included are depictions of Gertrude’s mother Viktoria and unidentified friends and family and a Jewish wedding.

The photograph albums consist of 141 homemade photograph albums (57 small albums and 84 large albums) constructed by Siegmund. The albums contain cloth covers in various patterns, and most are numbered and annotated in English or German. Both the small and large albums have roman number sequences as well as other albums without. The albums have been arranged as two subseries according to their size. Albums without roman numerals have been placed at the end of each subseries.

Subseries 5.1 small albums document pre-war life in Austria, Siegmund and Gertrude’s emigration from Vienna in 1939 to Shanghai, life in Shanghai from 1939-1948, daily life in Israel, 1949-1950, and daily life in the United States in the 1950s. Subseries 5.1 large albums document various day trips and vacations in Shanghai, Israel, United States, Buenos Aires, and Europe. Albums VIII and IX contain a lengthy narrative describing the Sobel’s last weeks in Shanghai and their attempts to emigrate due to the growing Chinese Communist Revolution. Albums after 1950 primarily document various vacations and daytrips taken in the eastern United States and elsewhere.

inclusive:  1873-1965
bulk:  1919-1963
11 oversize boxes
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2020-03-16 13:26:50
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