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Hans Robert Levy papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.162

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    The papers consist of photographs relating to Hans Robert Levy's life in Germany before World War II and after his arrival in the United Kingdom in May 1940. Also included in the collection are Red Cross letters, a Hebrew School certificate, birth certificates, and a document of parental consent granting permission for Hans and his brother to immigrate to the United States.
    inclusive:  circa 1927-1948
    Collection Creator
    Hans R. Levy
    Hans Robert Levy was born on February 2, 1927 to Salomon (Sally) Levy and Helene Levy (nee Weinberg) in Gladbeck, Germany where his parents owned a busy grocery store. Hans’ older sister, Elsbeth, was born in 1925 and his younger brother Oscar was born in 1928. In April 1933 the Nazi party organized a boycott of Jewish businesses in all of Germany and destroyed the Levy family store. The family sold the business and moved to Hamm, where Sally started a job as travelling wine salesman and Hans and his siblings attended local. After five years in Hamm the family moved to Helene’s hometown, Herzebrock. They moved in with Hans’ maternal grandmother and his uncle and family. During Kristallnacht the SS entered their house, beat Arthur Weinberg, Hans’ uncle, and ransacked the house. Sally, Arthur, and their friend and neighbor, Harry Stern, left the village fearing for their lives. They stayed in Lina Weinberg Kleeblatt’s house in Dortmund, who was Hans’ maternal great aunt. The men returned to Herzebrock on December 17, 1938, on the first night of Hanukkah. A few days later Helene and Sally registered their three children for a Kindertransport to Holland. Elsbeth, who was 13 years old at that time, left on January 12, 1939 and Hans and Oscar, left a week later. The boys were placed in an orphanage and were moved several times, finally arriving in the fall of 1939 in Amsterdam. Elsbeth stayed in Dribergen, but came to Amsterdam on February 17, 1940 to participate in Hans’ Bar Mitzvah celebration. His great aunt Lina Kleeblatt, her husband Hermann, and their son Walter lived in Amsterdam at that time, after emigrating from Germany a short time before. On May 14, 1940, four days after Germany’s invasion of Holland, Hans and Oscar and other German Jewish children boarded the SS Bodegraven. They arrived in Liverpool after five days and were placed in an abandoned seamen’s hotel. After a few days the children were transferred to Manchester and for the next eight years they lived in a hostel, while going to school and working.

    Arthur, his wife Käthe Frank Weinberg, and their son Hans Robert Weinberg were all deported from Herzebrock and perished. Lina Weinberg Kleeblatt, her husband, Hermann Kleeblatt and their son, Walter, were arrested in Amsterdam in 1943 and deported to the East. Hermann died in Bergen-Belsen on January 2, 1945 and Walter was killed in Sobibór. Helena and Sally left the village of Herzebrock soon after their children left Germany and moved to Dortmund, but sometime in July 1942 they were deported to Theresienstadt. Elsbeth, who was stranded in Amsterdam after the German invasion, was arrested and deported to Theresienstadt, where, by chance, she was reunited with her parents. After sometime she was transferred to a labor camp, where she worked in an ammunition factory. She was then transferred to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, where she learned that her parents had arrived from Theresienstadt on October 17, 1943 and were killed on arrival. Elsbeth survived the war and after the liberation she returned to Holland to marry her fiancé Fred Kaufman, whom she met in Theresienstadt. She started to search for her two younger brothers, Hans and Oskar. After a few months they reunited. Elsbeth and Fred Kaufman immigrated to the United States. Oskar Levy changed his name to Oscar Lawson and settled with his family in Rugby, UK. Hans met and married Elfrida Gainsboro in Manchester, UK on February 22, 1959.

    Physical Details

    German English
    1 folder

    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
    Levy, Hans Robert.

    Administrative Notes

    The papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1999 by Hans Robert Levy.
    Record last modified:
    2024-04-26 12:13:47
    This page:

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