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Fritz Buff papers

Document | Accession Number: 2007.121.1

The Fritz Buff papers consist of biographical materials, letters, and a travel diary documenting Fritz Buff from Krumbach, Germany, his voyage aboard the MS St. Louis to Cuba in 1939, the ship’s forced return to Europe, his life as a refugee in Brussels, Belgium, and his immigration to the United States in 1940.

Biographical materials include identification, registration, and immigration papers and a ration card documenting Buff’s status as a German Jew, his relocation to Belgium following the return of the St. Louis in June 1939, and his immigration to the United States in 1940.

Two letters from Fritz Buff describe his voyage aboard the St. Louis. One documents his optimistic perspective during the voyage to Havana while he still believed he would be permitted to disembark. The other describes his disappointment and anxiety upon learning he would not be allowed into Cuba, wondering what his fate would be, and learning he would be allowed into Belgium.

Buff’s travel diary documents his experiences aboard the St. Louis on route to Havana and then back to Europe. He describes the ship, his fellow passengers, the food and entertainment on board, the optimism about a new life in Cuba, reaching Havana, growing anxiety that the passengers were not being disembarked, the agony and despair of being turned around and sent back to Europe, and the relief at learning the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and England would welcome the refugees on board.

inclusive:  1939-1940
4 folders
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Buff
Record last modified: 2023-02-24 14:25:04
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