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Simon Breitstein photograph

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2018.135.1

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    Simon Breitstein photograph

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    A photograph of Simon Breitstein taken in the Łódź Ghetto, dated June 6, 1940.
    creation:  1940 June 06
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Gilda Breitstein Davis and Steven Breitstein
    Collection Creator
    Simon Breitstein
    Simon Breitstein (1917-1994) was born in 1917 to Szlama Breitstein (1888-1945) and Laja Sumrai Breitstein (1892-1936) in Łódź, Poland. Simon had 3 sisters, Edzia Fajn (1914-1945), Sala Szefner (1914-1945), and Gina Wyszegrodzki (1926-1988) and one brother, Beniek (1922-1945).

    Szlama Breitstein, a ladies tailor, was the proprietor of business on Czernika Street in which many of the Breitstein children, as well as extended relatives, were employed. Due to a successful business, Szlama was able to send Simon and his siblings to local public schools and private Jewish gymnasiums in Łódź. While Edzia, Sala, and Simon were able to complete their education before the war, Beniek and Gina’s education was interrupted following the German occupation of the city.

    After the formation of the Łódź ghetto, Simon lived with his father, siblings (Beniek, Gina, and Sala), and brother-in-law, Artur Szefner, at 28 Cranach Street. After completing Gymnasium Simon’s younger brother Beniek received a position as a ghetto policeman and was occasionally able to help his family by giving them extra bread. In August 1944, during the liquidation of the Łódź ghetto, Simon was arrested after attempting to evade the round-up by hiding in the cellar of a house with his aunt and two cousins. As a consequence Simon was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Several days later, Szlama and Beniek arrived at Auschwitz on a separate transport from Łódź. Although Simon had the opportunity to see and speak with his father and brother, they were assigned to separate barracks. Soon after Simon was sent from Auschwitz to the Flossenbürg concentration camp. As he was marched away, Simon had an opportunity to see and speak with his father one last time. After liberation Simon returned to Łódź in the hopes of being reunited with his family. However, only Simon and Gina survived the Holocaust. Simon ultimately left Poland and returned briefly to Germany where he spent several months recuperating his health. Simon lived in various displaced persons camps in Germany, including Neu Freimann and Zeilsheim before immigrating to the United States in 1949.

    Physical Details

    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Simon Breitstein photograph consists of a single photograph.

    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
    Łódź (Poland)

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2018 by Gilda Breitstein Davis and Steven Breitstein, the children of Simon Breitstein.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:34:24
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