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Samuel Kramer papers

Document | Accession Number: 2016.467.1

Consists of correspondence, memoranda, notes, photographs and similar materials collected by Samuel Kramer, an attorney who was legal counsel to Agudas Chasidei Chabad in Brooklyn, NY, and who worked closely with Rabbi S. Gourary and his father-in-law, the Lubavticher Rebbe Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, in attempts to secure visas for several dozen rabbis and students of the Tomchei Tmimim yeshiva, first so that they could leave Lithuania for Japan, and then from Japan onward, 1940-1941.

The “Correspondence” series is the largest component of the collection, and consists primarily of letters from Kramer, Philip Kleinfeld, and others to various political leaders in New York, seeking support for their efforts to obtain visas and the means of bringing the yeshiva students to the United States. Those whose help was sought included Senator Robert Wagner, Congressman Sol Bloom, and New York state officials, including Lazarus Joseph (N.Y. State Senate) and Samuel Rosenman (Justice, N.Y. Supreme Court). There is also a file of correspondence addressed to the President’s Advisory Committee on Political Refugees, copies of letters of reference written to them from Senator David Walsh—who had been instrumental with the rescue of Rabbi Schneersohn—as well as Breckinridge Long of the State Department, both in reference to an employee of Agudas Chasidei Chabad, in preparation for a planned meeting in August 1940 with the committee and its head James G. McDonald. A file with a Cuba-based attorney, Max Fux, explored the possibility of bringing the students to Cuba, and Photostats of a letter and list sent to the U.S. Consulate in Yokohama, Japan, is also included, as well as correspondence with A.M. Warren of the Visa Division of the State Department. In addition, this series contains a congratulatory telegram sent by leaders of Agudas Chasidei Chabad, including Rabbi Schneersohn, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, on the event of the latter’s re-election as President in November 1940.

The series “Other” includes lists of rabbis and students, as well as memoranda, typically written by Kramer, or dictated to an assistant, after meetings or phone calls, to record the contents of those discussions. The photographs consist of two images of a meeting of Chabad (perhaps the same event). One of them, dated November 1942 at the bottoms, shows Kramer (seated at left, wiping his mouth), and Rabbi Schneersohn (fourth from left), at a table or dais. This series also contains part of the cover of the original folder in which these documents were filed, since it contains written information from Kramer or his staff that may be useful in reconstructing its provenance, as well as that of related material that is not extant (such as his files pertaining to the rescue of Rabbi Schneersohn from Poland).

inclusive:  1940-1942
19 folders
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2021-11-10 13:04:12
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