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Falik family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2016.303.4

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    Falik family papers

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    The Falik family papers primarily consist of biographical materials and photographs related to the wartime and post-wartime experiences of Leon and Giza Falik with the Red Army and Polish Army, and Giza’s sister Mildred Stern’s experiences in Europe with the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). The collection includes identification papers, Red Army and Polish Army papers, Leon’s medical papers, and photographs of post-war Germany and Europe, and the WAC.

    The biographical materials include identification papers, Red Army and Polish Army papers, and immigration documents of Leon and Giza Falik. The identification papers are chiefly Polish and Russian passports. The army papers contain numerous certificates and official documents. Biographical materials of Leon Falik also include clippings; a medical notebook with descriptions of procedures and treatments; documents related to his medical career before, during, and after the war; and a manuscript of a speech about his wartime experiences. The series also contains copies of testimonies of the Sternschuss family from Yad Vashem.

    The correspondence includes a letter to Giza Falik from Magen David Adom in Israel and a letter to Leon Falik regarding locating the children of Rabbi Roze in the United States.

    The photographs series are primarily comprised of post-war photographs of Europe and the WAC. Many of the photographs were taken in Berlin. There are numerous photographs of Leon and Giza Falik in Polish and Red Army uniforms, often with other soldiers. The photographs of Mildred Stern are chiefly of her in uniform in several German cities. There are also photographs of a blackmarket in Berlin, children in displaced persons camps in Berlin, and a signed photograph of Mildred with Eleanor Roosevelt at Hyde Park, New York. The series also includes four photograph albums of Mildred’s which contain photographs of her with the WAC in Europe, travel photographs, and clippings about the WAC. The black album contains photographs of friends and family, and travel in Israel, Greece, Italy, France, Monaco, Maine, and New Haven, Connecticut. The brown album contains photographs of Mildred and the WAC in Berlin and includes parties, sports, children’s summer camp, parades, and travel in other German cities and parts of Europe. The “flower” album contains photographs of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, England, and Scotland. The light brown album contains photographs, clippings, playbills, postcards, letters, and greeting cards related to the United States Army and the WAC. Additionally, there are press and official photographs not take by the Faliks or Mildred Stern. These include photos of the hanging of Benito Mussolini, wartime Europe in 1943-1944, and the WAC.

    The printed material includes blank Nazi medal certificates, likely taken by Mildred Stern; a copy of the USAT Alexander newsletter; and a report in Yiddish from the Zionist Socialist Party.
    inclusive:  1927-2000
    bulk:  1930-1947
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Shelley Falik and Imy Wax
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Leon Falik
    Collection Creator
    Falik family
    Leon Ari Falik (born Mordche Lieb, 1908-1999) was born in Brzeżany, Poland (now Berezhany, Ukraine) to Moses Joseph and Bina Falik. He had one sister, Deborah, and one brother, Eli. Leon studied medicine in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and Warsaw, Poland. He worked in Warsaw until 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. He fled to Russia and was inducted into the Red Army. He was a Chief Abdominal Surgeon until 1943 when he was transferred to the Polish Army into the same position. He remained in the Polish Army until 1947, after which he worked as a gynecologist in two displaced persons camps in Berlin, Germany. He immigrated to the United States in 1948, and settled in New York. He co-founded an organization in New York called Tribute to the Danes and Other Rescuers in 1966. Giza Sternschuss Falik (1915-?) was born in Rakow-Kat, Tarnopol, Poland (now Ternopil’, Ukraine) to Regina (d. 1942) and Yehuda Wolf Sternschuss (d. 1942). She had one brother, Izrael (1911-1942), and one sister, Malka Yenta (later Mildred Stern, 1913-?). Giza was married to Fred Felner prior to the war, and worked as a physician. During the war, she worked in a clinic in Tarnopol until 1941 when she fled the Nazis and became a partisan hiding in the forests near the Zbruch River. She then went to the Ural mountains where she worked in a kitchen and as a nurse until they were liberated in 1945. She and Leon married during the war. She immigrated to the United States in 1947. Mildred Stern left Tarnopol and immigrated to the United States in 1937, and joined the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in 1943. After the war, she was in Germany with the WAC from 1946-1948.

    Physical Details

    2 boxes
    1 oversize folder
    2 oversize boxes
    System of Arrangement
    The Falik family papers are arranged as four series. All series are arranged alphabetically. Series 1: Biographical material, 1933-2000 (bulk 1933-1965); Series 2: Correspondence, 1934-1957; Series 3: Photographs, 1930-circa 1950s; Series 4: Printed material, 1927-1951.

    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

    Imy Falik Wax and Shelley Falik donated the Falik family papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2015. Imy and Shelly are the children of Leon Falik. The accession formally cataloged as 1995.A.0948 and donated by Leon Falik has been incorporated into this collection.
    Primary Number
    Record last modified:
    2023-03-30 15:07:26
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