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Donoff family papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 1988.77.108

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    The Donoff family papers consist of biographical materials, correspondence, forged documents, photographs, and printed materials documenting the Donoff family's involvement in forgery operations for the Jewish resistance movement in France during World War II.
    Biographical materials include genuine identification papers for David and Lina Donoff, a pass for Lina Donoff made out in her own name and under her alias (Denise Alice Rochard), a train pass for M. Donoff, and a posthumous award of the Croix de Guerre for David Donoff.
    Correspondence includes a letter of thanks from Rabbi Ansbacher to David Donoff for his help at the Gurs concentration camp, a note about the death of a friend named Pierre, notes from Nelly Donoff after her arrest and before her deportation to Auschwitz, a postwar letter of commendation from Maurice Buckmaster to Lina Donoff, and letters of commendation and condolence for David Donoff.
    Forgery and Resistance materials include forged identification papers and signatures, examples of marks from forged rubber stamps, radio message codes, and blank forms for the creation of forged documents.
    Photographs depict David, Robert, and Nelly Donoff, friends of the Donoff family, the Gurs concentration camp, and a postwar ceremony honoring young members of the Resistance.
    Printed materials include clippings about David Donoff, the Donoff family, and other members of the French Resistance; a copy of the 1945 Libération publication Les camps d’extermination: documents, témoignages, photographies sur les camps de déportés en Allemagne; and a copy of a brochure for the Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation dated approximately 1962.
    inclusive:  1940-1964
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Elaine Frank, in memory of her mother, Lina Donoff Frank, and her aunts and uncles, David, Robert, and Nelly Donoff and Gilbert Leidervarger
    Collection Creator
    Donoff family
    The Donoff family of Paris included two sisters and five brothers who were all member of the Eclaireurs Israélites de France and its clandestine branch, La Sixième, during World War II. Robert Donoff (1912-1944) fabricated false papers for the Resistance. He and his pregnant wife, Nelly Donoff (1911-1944), were arrested in January 1944, deported to Auschwitz in February, and perished. Lina Donoff (1916-1978) helped hide children and families and provided them with false papers and ration cards. David Donoff (1920-1944) entered the Gurs concentration camp to help inmates, smuggled children out of the camp, hid them with families in the countryside, and provided them with false papers. He was caught in a Gestapo raid and mortally wounded in June 1944. Rosette Donoff (b. 1921) also helped hide children. Their brother-in-law, Gilbert Leidervarger (b. 1915), made counterfeit rubber stamps used to create false papers.

    Physical Details

    French German
    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The Donoff family papers are arranged as five series: I. Biographical materials, approximately 1940-1944, II. Correspondence, 1940-1964, III. Forgery and Resistance materials, approximately 1940-1944, IV. Photographs, approximately 1940-1945, V. Printed materials, 1944-1964

    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

    Geographic Name
    Paris (France) Lyon (France)
    Corporate Name
    Gurs (Concentration camp)

    Administrative Notes

    Elaine Frank, Lina Donoff’s daughter, donated the Donoff family papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1990.
    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:
    2024-03-20 15:45:21
    This page:

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