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Nachmias family papers

Document | Accession Number: 2016.498.1

The Nachmias family papers consist of documents related to the immigration of Jacob Nachmias (born 1928), and his parents and sister, from Sofia, Bulgaria to the United States in 1939, as well as biographical documents pertaining to various generations of the Nachmias family of Russe, Bulgaria, between the 1870s and 1910s. Included are letters written by Jacob Nachmias to his father in the summer of 1939, prior to emigration from Bulgaria, and a journal kept by Jacob recounting events on their voyage in August and September 1939. Genealogical documents pertaining to the Nachmias family include a family history written by Jacob Nachmias in 2015-2016, an account from a Ladino newspaper in 1929 describing Nachmias ancestors from Spain, and various biographical documents, chiefly certificates of residence and passports issued by the Greek consulate in Russe to Benjamin Nachmias (1823-1910) and Jacob Nachmias (1862?-1949), as well as correspondence, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other items, including those pertaining to Vitali (1895-1965) and Grace (née De Taranto, 1903-1989) Nachmias, the parents of the donor of this collection.

The collection is divided into two segments: documents pertaining to the family’s immigration to the United States in 1939, and biographical and genealogical documents related to the ancestors of Jacob Nachmias, chiefly his great-grandfather Benjamin Nachmias, his grandfather Jacob Nachmias, and some documents related to his parents, Vitali and Gracia Nachmias. The immigration-related documents include a manuscript text account of the Nachmias' journey from Bulgaria to the United States in 1939, written by Jacob Nachmias in Bulgarian, along with the English translation; and correspondence sent by Jacob to his father during that period, primarily January through June 1939. The account of the journey, written in Bulgarian in a composition book in January 1940, describes the departure of Nachmias' family from Sofia in on 23 August 1939, their journey by train through Yugoslavia and Germany to France, and their journey from France to New York on the "Ile de France," including their arrival in New York on September 9. Also included in the composition book are notes that Nachmias kept about current events he had read about in the newspaper in early 1940. The correspondence from Nachmias to his father includes two letters sent in 1936, when his father was in the United States on a trip, and the subsequent letters were sent to him beginning in January 1939, when Vitali Nachmias had travelled there to make preparations for his family's arrival. All but one of the letters are in Bulgarian, with later English translations included. Additional documents about the immediate family of Jacob Nachmias from this period, including passports and identification cards, as well as a marriage certificate for his mother, are also included in this series.

The genealogical and biographical series of documents includes a family history written by Dr. Nachmias in 2015 and 2016, as well as a tear sheet from a newspaper, El Tiempo, written in Ladino, and containing an article about the history of the Nachmias family in Spain, prior to their move to the Ottoman Empire in 1500’s. A typescript German translation of that text is also available, provided by Jacob Nachmias’ uncle Moise, who lived in Vienna. The bulk of this series, however, consists of documents issued by the Greek government, primarily through its consulate in Russe, to the great grandfather and grandfather of Jacob Nachmias, Benjamin and Jacob Nachmias. Such documents consist of residence permits which enabled them, as Greek citizens, to continue to reside in Russe, both during the period in which the city was part of the Ottoman Empire, and following 1878, as a part of Bulgaria. Passports issued to both men by the Greek government also provide a record of their travels in the region during the latter decades of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century. Addition material about both men include a text, written in 1947, commemorating the role of Benjamin Nachmias in helping to spare Russe from bombardment and destruction during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, when Turkish forces had threatened to destroy the city as they retreated from advancing Russian forces. Additional correspondence and documents relate to Jacob Nachmias (the elder), in particular, correspondence between family members at the time of his death in 1949, and a tribute to him.

inclusive:  1936-2016
1 box
3 oversize folders
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jacob Nachmias
Record last modified: 2023-02-24 14:29:45
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