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Ada Abrahamer papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2015.442.1

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    Ada Abrahamer papers

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    The Ada Abrahamer papers primarily consist of a diary and photographs related to Ada Abrahamer’s wartime experiences in work camps and concentration camps in Poland, as well as her postwar life in displaced persons camps in Austria. Abrahamer kept a diary from September 1939 until March 1946, but the only remaining pages are from Spring 1944 to March 1946. The surviving pages describe her experiences in Oskar Schindler’s airplane parts factory, Plaszów concentration camp, Auschwitz concentration camp, the Lichtewerden bei Freudenthal (Consolidated Flaxspinning Factory) in Sudeten Germany, and displaced persons camps in Austria. The photographs include several pictures taken in Kraków, Poland during the war, displaced persons camps in Austria, and the Abrahamers on the USS General Black immigrating to the United States.

    The diary contains handwritten pages describing Abrahamer’s experiences in work camps and concentration camps. It covers her time in Schindler’s airplane parts factory, the Neue Kuehler Fabrik, spring 1944-September 1944; Plaszów concentration camp, September 1944-October 1944; Auschwitz concentration camp, October 1944-November 1944; and Lichtewerden bei Freudenthal (Consolidated Flaxspinning Factory), November 1944-May 1945. Other documents include a Polish border pass used by Abrahamer to cross the Czechoslovakian border in July, 1945, drawings by Ada, and biographical notes chronicling her wartime years.

    The photograph series contains an annotated photograph album along with loose photographs primarily related to Ada and Rafael Abrahamer’s life in displaced persons camps in Austria, 1945-1947. Included are photographs of Ada and Rafael Abrahamer, Rafael’s brother Henryk and his aunt Joska Singer, friends from the Bindermichl displaced persons camp near Linz and the displaced persons camp near Bad Gastein, Austria, several photographs taken in Kraków during the war and Plaszów in 1947, and the Abrahamers on the USS General Black immigrating to the United States. There are also photographs of Rafael Abrahamer in his Polish army uniform and with fellow soldiers. The photograph album chiefly contains annotated photographs of friends in Bad Gastein and Linz.
    inclusive:  circa 1930-circa 1989
    bulk:  1941-1948
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Nora Abrahamer
    Collection Creator
    Ada Abrahamer
    Ada Breitkopf Abrahamer (1921-2009) was the only child born to Gustaw Breitkopf and Eleonora Ernestina (Erna) Reif. Ada and her parents were in Kraków, Poland when Germany invaded in 1939. Her father, Gustaw, fled east under the common assumption that only men were in danger. Ada, her mother and grandmother remained at home until they were forced into the Kraków ghetto in April 1941. Ada worked clearing snow, cleaning and disinfecting military installations and working at the Feldzeugdienstelle Munitions Factory. Shortly before the ghetto was liquidated, Ada's grandmother Ida Maria Reif passed away, and in March 1943 Ada and her mother were sent to the Plaszów concentration camp. After a month spent under horrific conditions, they were selected to work in Oskar Schindler's airplane parts factory, the Neue Kuehler Fabrik. They remained there until September 1944. Ada was then returned to Plaszów for a month and then deported to Auschwitz where she stayed for three weeks. In November 1944, she was sent to the Lichtewerden bei Freudenthal (Consolidated Flaxspinning Factory) in Sudetenland. Ada was finally liberated by the Russian Army on May 6, 1945. Her mother Erna was sent to different concentration camps and died in 1944 in Skarżysko-Kamienna Werk C. Throughout her ordeal, Ada kept a diary recording her experiences in the various camps. It was confiscated on three occasions, but she was able to retrieve it each time. After liberation, Ada returned briefly to Krakow before making her way to Austria where she settled in the Bindermichl displaced persons camp near Linz. There she met Rafael Abrahamer (b. 1913), a jeweler who fled east in the beginning of the war and joined the Polish army. He was captured by the Russians and spent the bulk of the war in prisoner of war camps in Siberia. They married on March 30, 1947 and immigrated to the United States on October 30, 1948. Though Ada survived the Holocaust, all of her immediate relatives perished including her two grandmothers, Ida Maria Reif and Shifra Breitkopf, her Uncle Adolf and Aunt Sara Breitkopf and their children Blanka, Nussa, Tadek, Yurek and Edward, her Uncle Ignatz Breitkopf, Uncle Jacob Breitkopf, Uncle Max Reif and Aunt Basha Reif.

    Physical Details

    Polish English German
    Diaries. Photographs.
    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The Ada Abrahamer papers are arranged as two series: Series 1: Diary and other papers, 1944-circa 1980s; Series 2: Photographs, circa 1930s-1948.

    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

    Administrative Notes

    Nora Abrahamer donated her mother's collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in April 2015. Nora Abrahamer donated an accretion of her mother's collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on August 19, 2015
    Funding Note
    The accessibility of this collection was made possible by the generous donors to our crowdfunded Save Their Stories campaign.
    Special Collection
    Save Their Stories
    Record last modified:
    2024-04-11 13:19:05
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