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Leah Press Kalina photographs

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2016.173.1

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    Leah Press Kalina photographs

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    The Leah Press Kalina photographs contain photographic prints, photographic postcards, and Rosh Hashanah cards documenting the post-war experiences of Leah Press Kalina, her sister Ruchel, and friends. The majority of the images in this collection depict Leah in the Deggendorf displaced persons camp between 1946 and 1947. Images include daily activities within the camp, friends, weddings, and Leah in a uniform. Also included are photographs of Leah with friends and several images of a friend named Saul Eckstein in Rome and Israel after the war. Pre-war images depict Gershon Press and his mother and/or aunt in Lithuania.
    inclusive:  1915-1952
    bulk:  1946-1949
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Shirley Press, Barbara Elkan, and Leah Press Kalina
    Collection Creator
    Leah Kalina
    Leah Press Kalina (formerly Lenke Gruenberg 1929-) was the second eldest daughter of Eli (1889-1944) and Sheindel Schwimmer (1902-1944) Gruenberg. Leah was born in Cierny Potok, Czechoslovakia (present day Ukraine), near the Carpathian Mountains, where her father was a businessman and owned a farm. She had three sisters, Ruchel (1928-2012), Bluma (1930-1944), and Malka (1936-1944). In March 1944, Germany invaded the Trans-Carpathian region and shortly after, the Gruenberg family was forcibly moved to the Munkacs ghetto (present-day Mukacheve, Ukraine). On May 11, 1944 the family was deported to Auschwitz in railroad cars. There, Eli, Sheindel, and Malka were immediately sent to the gas chambers, while Leah, Ruchel, and Bluma were selected for forced labor. The sisters’ heads were shaved and they were shortly sent to the Płaszów concentration camp where they hauled stones for 12 hours a day. By this time, Bluma had weakened considerably. Leah and Ruchel attempted to hide pieces of bread from their rations for Bluma, but at one point, their reserves of bread were stolen. Sometime around August 1944, Leah, Ruchel, and Bluma were sent back to Auschwitz and Leah was tattooed with number A-21653. Upon their arrival, there was another selection and Bluma was clubbed to death. In the fall of 1944, Ruchel and Leah were sent to Bergen-Belsen and from there, to Buchenwald, where they arrived in December 1944. They spent their final months as prisoners at the Markkleeberg sub-camp and were finally liberated after surviving a death march. After the war, the sisters lived in the Deggendorf displaced persons camp. Ruchel married Herbert Kirschner in Deggendorf in 1947 and then settled in the United States. Leah immigrated to the United States in 1947 and married Gershon Press (1921-1970), a Holocaust survivor of Dachau, whom she met in Philadelphia. After Gershon died in 1970, Leah married Harry Kalina in 1975. She has two daughters, Shirley (1951-) and Barbara (1953-).

    Physical Details

    4 folders
    System of Arrangement
    The Leah Press Kalina photographs are arranged as a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The donor, source institution, or a third party has asserted copyright over some or all of these material(s). The Museum does not own the copyright for the material and does not have authority to authorize use. For permission, please contact the rights holder(s).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Deggendorf (Germany)

    Administrative Notes

    The collection was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Leah Press Kalina, Shirley Press and Barbara Press Elkan in 2016.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:26:04
    This page:

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