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David Birnbaum family photograph collection

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 1998.85.2

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    David Birnbaum family photograph collection

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    The collection documents the pre-war lives of the Birnbaum family and friends in Siedlce and Warsaw, Poland and Copenhagen, Denmark.
    inclusive:  1905-1935
    Collection Creator
    Birnbaum family
    Max Mordche Birnbaum, was born in Siedlce, Poland in 1886. His wife, Rachel Rosa Saltzman, was born in Warsaw in 1887. In 1905 the Saltzman family and Max Birnbaum moved to Copenhagen awaiting an opportunity to immigrate to the United States. Max and Rachel married in 1909 and their oldest daughter, Anna Chana, was born in 1910. David and Dora, twins, were born in 1920. Max was a bookbinder and owned a workshop.

    In 1941 David found a job with a construction company in Nykøbing, Sjælland in northwestern Denmark. On 1 October 1943, David’s landlady informed him that the local chief of police warned her of the forthcoming “aktion” against the Danish Jews. David met Mr. Petersen, a fisherman whom he knew and arranged for him to take David and others to Sweden. He also made arrangements to have his father, mother or sister Anna, and twin sister Dora to join him in Nykøbing for the trip. David’s friend Sven Oppenheim and his father Kaj Oppenheim arranged for gasoline ration coupons to be supplied to the fisherman. On 10 October 1943 at 5AM, the boat sailed from the Nykøbing boathouse with the Birnbaums, eight members of the Oppenheim family, a friend, and Mr. Peterson. The boat arrived in Mölle harbor in Kullen, Sweden after a five hour journey.

    David found employment as an architect’s apprentice in the nearby town of Callep. The architect employed Dora as his children’s babysitter and David’s father found a job in a bookbinding workshop. A Danish friend took care of the family apartment and also sent winter clothes to the Birnbaum family in Sweden. A shop supervisor managed Max’s business. The Danish Brigade was formed in Sweden in 1944 and David joined the force. On 4 May 1945 they landed in Helsingør, Denmark and the next day they liberated Copenhagen.

    David Birnbaum became an architect and married Lilian Goldschmidt Birnbaum, a physician, whose family was rescued by the Danish resistance. Mr. and Mrs. Birnbaum have four children and four grandchildren, and live in Brabrand, Denmark.

    Physical Details

    3 folders
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as three folders.

    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

    Geographic Name
    Poland. Copenhagen (Denmark)

    Administrative Notes

    The collection was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by David Birnbaum in 1998. He donated an additional collection in 1999. The collections were unified in 2017.
    Primary Number
    Record last modified:
    2023-04-11 10:02:35
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