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Erwin Tepper papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2015.590.1

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    Erwin Tepper papers

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    The Erwin Tepper papers consist of documents, correspondence, photographs, and writings, related to the immigration of Erwin Tepper and his parents to the United States from Austria, as a result of Nazi persecution, in 1939. In particular, the material documents how Erwin Tepper was selected as one of 50 children by American philanthropists Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, who sought to rescue Jewish children from Austria and resettle them in the United States. In addition to photographs of Tepper's family, and of his journey as one of the 50 children, the collection contains documents related to his parents' immigration, and later material collected or compiled by Tepper for presentations about the history of the "50 children" at reunions and conferences in the United States between 2002 and 2010.

    The Presentations and Programs series contains material, largely compiled by Tepper, about the history of the 50 children who were brought to the United States by Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, and include copies of slides or notes compiled by Kraus for use at speaking engagements or presentations given at reunions in the early 2000s. In addition, a program of a reunion held in Chicago in 2002, by an organization known as “One Thousand Children,” whose focus is on children who were rescued during the Holocaust, is also included.

    The Research series includes material collected by Kraus while researching the history of the “50 children,” primarily in preparation for the speaking engagements and presentations documented in the previous series. Included are brief testimonies from some of the other children who had been rescued by the Krauses, solicited and collected by Tepper in 2002. Also included are copies of archival documents obtained by Tepper from the National Archives and Records Adminstration, showing the official response of the State Department to the request of the Krauses to bring children from Vienna to the United States, as well as other documents obtained from the Brith Sholom Home, related to the children’s stay there in 1939.
    inclusive:  1929-2015
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Erwin Tepper
    Collection Creator
    Erwin Tepper
    Erwin Tepper was born on November 14, 1931, to Juda Ber and Schifra Heller Tepper in Vienna, Austria. His parents were originally from Galicia, his father from Stryj (now in Ukraine), and his mother from Dolina. His parents moved to Vienna so Juda could pursue a university education. Juda began working in a women's lingerie store, eventually becoming a manager. In March 1938, Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany. Anti-Jewish legislation was enacted and Jew lost most civil rights. Juda had several siblings in Argentina and the United States, and the family decided to leave Austria.

    In 1939, they learned that an American couple, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, were planning to bring 50 Jewish children from Austria to the United States. Erwin’s parents applied and Erwin was accepted as one of this group. In the spring, Juda left for Great Britain. Erwin left from Germany in May 1939 aboard the S.S. President Harding. When the ship stopped in Southampton, England, he briefly met with his father. Erwin and the other children arrived in New York in June 1939, and spent the summer at the Brith Sholom children's camp near Philadelphia. At the end of the summer, Erwin went to live with the family of his father's sister, Blima Eigenmacht, in the Bronx, New York. In late 1939, Schifra joined her husband in England and by early 1941, they arrived in New York, reuniting with Erwin. By summer 1941 the family moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, where Juda obtained a job in a women's coat factory. Erwin graduated from Yale University in 1953 with a bachelor's in zoology. He then obtained a medical degree from the University of Basel in 1959. He met his future wife, Silvia, while in Basel. They married in New Haven in 1960, and raised three children. Erwin served in the U.S. Army in the early 1960s, then pursued a career as a radiation oncologist, retiring from Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey, in 1994. He was elected a fellow of the American College of Radiology in 1989.

    Physical Details

    English German
    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The Erwin Tepper papers are arranged in the following series, by document type, and alphabetically by folder title within each series: I. Biographical, II. Photographs, III. Presentations and programs, IV. Research.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The donor (Erwin Tepper) retained copyright to materials in this collection that he created. Other material 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
    Vienna (Austria) Austria.

    Administrative Notes

    Erwin Tepper donated the Erwin Tepper papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2015.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:26:06
    This page:

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