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Joseph Feingold papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.99.1

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    Joseph Feingold papers

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    The Joseph Feingold papers contain materials related to the family of Joseph Feingold, originally of Warsaw and Kielce, Poland, documenting their pre-war life in Poland, their experiences during the German occupation of Poland in World War II, exile in the Soviet Union, and Feingold’s immigration to the United States in 1948.

    Included are photocopies of correspondence that Feingold’s father, Aron, sent to his mother, Rachel, while Aron was imprisoned in a labor camp in the Soviet Union in 1940. Other correspondence includes photocopies of letters that Rachel sent from the Kielce ghetto to her brother, Jakub, in 1940 and 1941 (the originals of these have been retained by the Jakubowski family). Another letter, written by Joseph Feingold in 1996 and addressed to the New York Times, but never published, describes his reactions to an article that they had published about the Kielce ghetto.

    The collection also includes the typescript memoir (95 pages) of Joseph Feingold, titled “The Autobiography of Jozef Fajngold,” written in 1985. In it, he recounts his family’s experiences in pre-war Poland, during the German occupation, the exile that he and his father experienced in the Soviet Union, and their postwar return to Poland and eventual immigration to the United States.

    The photograph series includes pre-war family photographs from Poland, images of Joseph at school in Barnaul during the war, and he and his father in the immediate post-war years.
    inclusive:  1922-1996
    bulk:  1922-1948
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joseph Feingold
    Collection Creator
    Joseph Feingold
    Joseph Feingold was born Jozef Fajngold, on 23 March 1923, in Warsaw, Poland, the son of Aron (1891-1961) and Rachel Leah (nee Jakubowski, 1901-1942?). In addition to Joseph, the Fajngolds had two other sons, Alexander (born 1924) and Henry (1929-1942?). Around 1932, the family moved to Kielce, where Aron practiced his trade as a woodworker. After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Joseph, his father, and brother Alex fled eastward to Zawichost, his father’s birthplace. They returned to Kielce, but after the Gestapo arrested Aron and subsequently released him, Aron and Joseph fled again, this time to the Soviet occupied part of Poland, to Lwow (present-day L’viv, Ukraine). Aron found work in the Donbass region of Ukraine, and Joseph went to school in Lwow. However, he was arrested, along with other refugees from Poland, in June 1940, and sent to a labor camp in northeastern Siberia. In the meantime, Aron had also been imprisoned and sent to a labor camp near Rybinsk. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Aron was released, and having learned where his son was, travelled to Siberia to be with him. In the spring of 1943, they settled in Barnaul, in western Siberia, where Joseph resumed his schooling. Following the end of the war, Joseph and his father returned to Poland in May 1946, initially living in Łódź. Wanting to find out what happened to family members, Joseph returned to Kielce in July 1946, and was badly beaten during the Kielce pogrom, and subsequently hospitalized for several weeks. After recovery, he returned to his father in Łódź, and deciding that they should emigrate, they left for Germany, first for Landshut, and then to the Zeilsheim displaced persons camp, where they met Alex, who had been imprisoned in Bergen-Belsen, and their cousin Leon, who had survived the Kielce ghetto. Most of the remaining family members, including Joseph’s mother, Rachel, had been deported to Treblinka and murdered there during the Holocaust. Having made contact with Aron’s sister and brother-in-law, Rifka and Meyer Silverstein, who lived in New York, the remaining Fajngolds chose to immigrate there, with Aron departing in 1946, Alex in 1947, and Joseph in August 1948. Joseph studied at Cooper Union and Columbia University, became an architect in 1962, and married Regina Kaufman (1926-2015) in 1970. The documentary film “Joe’s Violin,” by Kahane Cooperman, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2016, chronicled the story of a violin that Joseph Feingold acquired while at Zeilsheim, which he played regularly, but later donated it to a public radio station in New York, which subsequently gave it to a young student in the Bronx.

    Physical Details

    6 folders
    System of Arrangement
    The Joseph Feingold collection is arranged in one series, in alphabetic order by folder title.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Copyright to memoir of Joseph Feingold, and other unpublished writings by him or his parents, retained by donor. 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

    Joseph Feingold donated the Joseph Feingold papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2017.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:30:12
    This page:

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