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Sigall family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.237.1

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    Sigall family papers

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    Correspondence, identification documents, photographs, audio recording, and related materials, concerning the emigration of Emmy (née Sigall) Loeb, from her home in Darmstadt, Germany, on a “Kindertransport” to Britain in 1939; her settlement in Britain; and the efforts of her parents, Hermann and Natalie Sigall, and brother, Alex, to leave Germany in the years that followed.

    One folder of biographical documents includes the birth certificate reissued to Emmy after the war, in Darmstadt, 1949. Also included are three pieces of identification issued to her during her residency in Britain, including a Certificate of Registration for aliens (1939-1943), a National Registration Identity Card (1943-1947), and a Military Entry Permit issued by the Allied occupation authorities in Germany, valid from 1945 to 1947.

    Correspondence consists of one folder of letters received by Emmy from her parents and brother in Darmstadt (and occasionally from other relatives) and one folder regarding attempts to contact American aid groups in order to obtain affidavits. The correspondence from her family extends from July 1939 through January 1940, but also includes a couple of undated letters, and one sent to Emmy from her brother Alex in Palestine in September 1941. The letters, written mostly by her father, discuss the plans to emigrate, efforts to find a way to send Alex to England, discussion of Emmy’s arrival in Britain and her initial experiences there, and efforts for her to meet other relatives already living in England. During the course of the letters, Hermann reflects on the difficulties the family has encountered in Germany, and is alternately optimistic and pessimistic about their chances of being able to leave the country. Alex’s letter of September 1941 reports on news he had heard about their parents from his uncle Julius, who had been in contact with him, and had conveyed the news that both parents had been sent to concentration camps, and he provided the mailing addresses for them there. The correspondence seeking affidavits includes responses from a representative of Rabbi Stephen Wise in New York, and the National Council of Jewish Women, explaining that they were unable to provide affidavits or support for the Sigall family to immigrate to the United States at that time (February through June 1939).

    The collection also includes a photograph of Emmy with her aunt Lin (Karolin Kirchhausen), and cousins Ludwig and Walter Buxbaum, circa late 1940s.
    inclusive:  1939-1949
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Harvey Loeb
    Collection Creator
    Emmy Loeb
    Emmy Loeb (1923-2015) was born Emmy Hanna Sigall in Darmstadt, Germany, on 31 May 1923, the daughter of Hermann Nathan Sigall (1898-1941), a furrier, and Natalie (née Kirchhausen) Sigall (1897-1942). In addition to Emmy, the Sigalls had one other child, a son named Alex (born 25 July 1926). The Sigall family owned a shop that sold furs on Ludwigstrasse in Darmstadt, the same street on which they lived. By 1938 however, and in particular after Kristallnacht, they began making plans to emigrate, trying first to send their children out of the country. In the July 1939, Emmy left on a Kindertransport for Britain, where she lived with the Callahan family in St. Annes (Lytham St. Annes), Lancashire. The Sigalls were making plans to send Alex next, but arrangements were not completed by the time that World War II broke out in September 1939, and they were unable to join Emmy in Britain.

    Emmy’s parents were deported from Darmstadt in early March 1940. Her father died at Sachsenhausen on 24 November 1941, and her mother died at Ravensbrück on 26 March 1942. Being orphaned, her brother Alex was sheltered by the Jewish Community in Darmstadt, before being sent out of the country, via Hamburg, to Palestine, where he settled in a kibbutz at Ben Schemen, near Tel Aviv, and he has lived in Israel since then. Due to restrictions on enemy aliens, Emmy was forced to relocate to Bolton in June 1940, then Breconshire (Wales) until the restriction was lifted in October 1940, and she subsequently moved to Wolverhampton, where she found work first as a dressmaker, and then in a die casting plant. She subsequently worked for the United States Forces in the European Theatre, with the Civil Censorship Division, based in Offenbach and Esslingen, Germany, from 1945-1947, before she returned to Britain and left for the United States in August 1947. She married Harry Loeb in 1950, and they had two children, and settled in Yonkers, New York.

    Physical Details

    German English
    4 folders
    System of Arrangement
    Collection is arranged in one series, alphabetically by folder title.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Donor retains copyright to unpublished materials created by him or his mother (Emmy Sigall). 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

    Administrative Notes

    Harvey Loeb donated the Sigall family papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2017. Harvey Loeb is the son of Emmy Sigall Loeb.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:30:01
    This page:

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