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Robert Dreyfus papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2016.516.1

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    Correspondence and other documents from Rabbi Robert Dreyfus, a native of Alsace, and primarly related to his experiences during the occupation of Belgium and France during World War II, including his own imprisonment as a prisoner-of-war from 1940 to 1945, including postcards and letters that he received from his wife, father, and other family members during the period when he was interned. Also includes a small amount of post-war correspondence.
    inclusive:  1940-1967
    bulk:  1940-1945
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection. The acquisition of this collection was made possible by the Crown Family.
    Collection Creator
    Robert Dreyfus
    Robert Dreyfus (1913-2002) was born in Sélestat, Alsace on 4 June 1913, the son of Fernand (1867- ?) and Delphine (née Levy, 1874-1934) Dreyfus. After his schooling there, he began studies at the University of Strasbourg in 1930, planning to become a dentist, but a religious awakening led him to change course, and in 1932 he decided instead to study to become a rabbi, and entered a rabbinical school in Paris. He completed his studies in 1937, and after serving a year in the French Army, he was installed as rabbi to the Jewish community in Haguenau (Bas-Rhin), and shortly thereafter, in December 1938, he married Gaby May, who was from Westhoffen (Bas-Rhin). In the late summer of 1939, he was called back into the French Army, where he served as a chaplain. During the German invasion of France, he was captured on 23 June 1940 in La Bourjance (Vosges), and taken as a prisoner of war, and spent the entirety of the war in captivity until his liberation in 1945. During this time, he was a prisoner initially in Stalag V-D in Strasbourg, but later at Stalag XI-A, near Altengrabow, Germany, and also worked as a forced laborer at a stone quarry in Pretzien, near Magdeburg, and in a paper factory in Dessau. Following his release, he returned to France, where he reunited with his wife and daughter, who had spent the duration of the occupation in central France, and served as a rabbi in Haguenau and Metz, and later in Belgium, serving as chief rabbi of Brussels (1948-1955), and then as chief rabbi of Belgium (1963-1978). Following his retirement from the latter position, he moved to Israel, living the remainder of his life there. He died in Jerusalem on 12 April 2002.

    Physical Details

    French German
    1 box
    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The Robert Dreyfus papers are arranged in two series: I. Correspondence, II. General. Files are arranged within the series in alphabetic order, either by name of correspondent or by title of 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

    Administrative Notes

    Purchase, 2015.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:29:11
    This page:

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