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Felicia Neufeld papers

Document | Accession Number: 2013.534.1

Correspondence, writings, unpublished memoir, videorecording and documents of Felicia Neufeld, recounting her childhood experiences in a Jewish orphanage in France during and following the German occupation, as well as her experiences as a "hidden child" in France from 1942-1944, and her later efforts to gain recognition for the woman who sheltered her, Renee Verité, as a "Righteous Among the Nations" at Yad Vashem.

Contains unpublished memoir, correspondence, identification documents, writings, and one videocassette recording, related largely to the experiences of Felicia Neufeld as a hidden child in France during the Holocaust.

The memoir, written in the form of a letter to the daughter of the woman who hid Neufeld in France during the German occupation, describes in detail her experiences during that period. Also included is correspondence from other children to Neufeld in the years following liberation, when she and other children were placed in orphanages in Paris, as well as correspondence with some of those people a half-century later, when Neufeld sought to have Renee Verité recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the "Righteous Among the Nations." Much of the collection consists of unpublished writings by Neufeld, in which she reflects in the latter years of her life upon her experiences during the Holocaust and how they shaped her.

The first series, of biographical materials, largely consists of documents created during the period of Neufeld’s immigration to the United States in 1947. The correspondence series contains primarily correspondence with Renée Verité, the woman who sheltered Neufeld and other orphaned Jewish children in Varenne during the occupation, as well as correspondence with other orphanage staff and children in the years prior to and immediately following Neufeld’s immigration to the United States.

There is also extensive correspondence with an attorney and an accountant in West Germany, from 1955 to 1966, as Neufeld pursued compensation claims from the West German government, with the help of her aunt, Nina Neufeld Crovetti, who had initiated the process on her behalf. In 1957, she discovered that she had an elder half-brother, Haim Miller, living in a psychiatric hospital in Israel, and she sought to contact him, managing to do so in the years prior to his death in 1962, during which time she filed a compensation claim on his behalf as well. The compensation series of these papers contains material related to Neufeld’s own claims, as well as those that she filed on her brother’s behalf.

The largest component of the collection is the series of writings from Neufeld, which are divided between her memoir and miscellaneous writings divided by year. The memoir is written in the form of a letter to Verité’s daughter, Claudine Meyronne, in 2004. In it, Neufeld describes in detail her experiences during the period when she was sheltered in Varenne, and discusses the activities of Verité and the other orphanage workers. The remaining writings consist of unpublished poetry and essays by Neufeld, in which she reflects during the latter years of her life upon her experiences during the Holocaust and how they shaped her.

The collection also contains subject files on various Holocaust-related topics, including those related to organizations or causes that Neufeld was involved with in the 1970s and 1980s, including Holocaust commemoration events, her efforts to research the fates of her parents, attempts to combat Holocaust denial, and efforts to commemorate the actions of Renée Verite, which culminated in the construction of a memorial in Varenne in 2000, and her recognition by Yad Vashem as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations.”

Date
inclusive:  1894-2010
bulk:  1947-1985
Language
English
French
German
Extent
3 boxes
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marita Dresner
 
Record last modified: 2021-05-07 13:00:59
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn59235