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Markon family papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.642.1

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    Overview

    Description
    The papers consist of documents, identification cards, photographs, and correspondence relating to the Markon family during the Holocaust.
    Date
    1927-1974
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Genya Markon
    Collection Creator
    Alexander Markon
    Biography
    Oswiez (Alexander/Sasha, 1905-1989) Markon, was born in Vilna (now Vilnius), Lithuania. He immigrated to France in the 1920s. From 1927-1929, he served in the French Army and became a French citizen. He studied chemical engineering and received his degree in 1931, from the University of Nancy. He worked in the dairy, brewery, and wine industries. Alexander also received a diploma as a “capacitare” in law on June 21,1932, from the law faculty in Toulouse. In 1936, Alexander met Raya Magid (1910-2005) during a visit to see his mother in Vilna. She had attended school with his sister and they became reacquainted during the visit. When Alexander returned to France, he and Raya carried on a courtship by mail. They were married on February 11, 1937 in France and settled in Paris. Alexander worked as a translator at a publishing company, Dunod. Raya had studied in a commercial school in Lyons, and worked as a secretary.

    On September 1,1939, Germany invaded Poland. Alexander was recalled to the French military, and on September 4, 1939, was drafted to the center of mobilization at Orleans, Loiret. He was sent to the 55th Regiment of the artillery and stationed on the Maginot Line, a series of fortifications along the French-German border. Germany invaded France in May 1940, and in June, France surrendered. Alexander was demobilized and went south in the hopes of finding Raya, who had fled to Toulouse during the exodus from Paris ( L’Exode). He eventually found her by accident in a train station. Later, they found refuge in Leguevin in Haute Garonne.

    Alexander worked as a farm laborer, and later in a shoe factory. The couple’s first child, Alain (1941-1998), was born in Toulouse in June 1941. The Markon family wished to immigrate to the United States, and applied for immigration visas. Raya’s first cousin, Lillian Epstein, lived in the US, and was married to a psychiatrist, Joseph Epstein. Joseph had connections in the US State Department and pleaded their case, eventually helping them to obtain an affidavit to enter the US in 1941. Despite this, they did not receive visas until 1942. With the sponsorship of the American Jewish Joint, the Markon family obtained passage to America aboard a Portuguese ship, the SS Carvalho Araujo. They sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, on October 20, 1942, and arrived in Baltimore, MD, on November 2. From there, they took a train to New York City. They were still there when their daughter, Genya (b.1943), was born two months later.

    Raya’s mother, Genya, died of natural causes in the spring of 1941. Abram, Raya’s father, was executed that summer by German forces in Ponary, just outside Vilna. Raya’s sister, Katia Magid (1905-1965), was confined in the Vilna ghetto following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Katia survived being imprisoned in both Kaiserwald and Stutthof concentration camps, and immigrated to the US in 1947. She found work at the American Museum of Natural History using her language skills. Alexander held many different positions in the food industry, eventually becoming a food chemist for Dr. Brown’s Soda Company (American Beverages).

    Physical Details

    Extent
    2 folders

    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

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Genya Markon.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:21:55
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn522502

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