- Mr. Arthur Lessing
1980 May 18
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Edward Lessing, Arthur Lessing and Alfred Lessing
Rights & Restrictions
- Conditions on Access
- There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
- Conditions on Use
- Restrictions on use
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- Edward Lessing, Abba (Arthur) Lessing, and Alfred Lessing donated the interviews with members of the Lessing family to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2017.
- Special Collection
The Jeff and Toby Herr Oral History Archive
- Record last modified:
- 2023-11-16 07:57:50
- This page:
Also in Lessing family collection
Documents, photographs, correspondence, family history albums, and miscellaneous papers related to the Lessing family (Edward, his parents Nardus and Engeline, and his brothers Arthur and Alfred) in the Netherlands, in the U.S. (1929-1932), while in hiding during WWII, and in the postwar period. Also includes Edward's drawings and sculpture made while hidden, his short memoir, materials related to Engeline's arrest by the Germans and her time interned at Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen as well as in the UNRAA camp Jeanne D'Arc in Philippeville, Algeria. In addition, the collection includes interviews (on CD) and a book of transcripts of interviews with family members (as well as Edward's wife, Carla (Heymans) Lessing and a cousin, Hans van der Leeden). Finally, the collection includes a document related to Carla Lessing and her mother, Herta Heymans, who were in hiding in the Netherlands, as well as the photocopy of a diary and letters by Herman Munninghoff, who was with Edward Lessing in the woods with the Dutch Resistance.
The collection consists of biographical material, correspondence, writings and publications, family albums, and photographs documenting the history of the Lessing family, originally from the Netherlands, including Engeline Lessing’s deportation to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, her experiences at the Jeanne d’Arc refugee camp in Philippeville, Algeria (Skikda), her sons Ed, Fred, and Arthur Lessing’s experiences as hidden children, Ed’s time with the Dutch Resistance and hiding in the woods, and pre and post-war family history. Biographical material includes material related Ed, his wife Carla Heymans, Nardus, Engeline, Nardus’s father Isaac and his second wife Agatha Trijntje Cornelia Jautze, and several other early family members. Material consists of report cards, identification cards, marriage documents, and a family book. Other material includes documents related to the Bergen-Belsen prisoner exchange and false identity cards for Ed, Nardus, and Carla’s mother Herta Heymans. Correspondence primarily consists of correspondence between Engeline and Nardus after her arrest and deportations to Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen, and her time in the Jeanne d’Arc refugee camp. Other correspondence includes letters to Engeline in the refugee camp from her sister Suze van Leer in Massachusetts. Writings include Engeline’s diary from Bergen-Belsen and a personal narrative describing her experiences, writings from Ed and Fred about their Holocaust experiences, and a photocopy of a diary of Herman Munninghoff, who was in the hut with Ed in 1943. Clippings include articles on the Hollandia Kattenburg Factory where Joseph and Isaac Lessing both worked, the Dutch Resistance hut, and related Dutch Holocaust topics. Publications include reprints of Dutch newspapers from 1942, publications regarding hidden children, a photo postcard of the German invasion of the Netherlands, and a pamphlet dropped by the U.S. Air Force. Also included is a book of the transcriptions of family interviews conducted by Fred regarding their Holocaust experiences (please see related material for more information on the audio of these interviews). The family albums consist of four albums assembled by Ed entitled “An Informal History of the Lessing Family.” The albums are annotated and contain original photographs, facsimiles of documents, artwork, translations of letters, poetry, and modern documentation chronicling the history of the Lessing family. The books cover pre-war family history, their Holocaust experiences, and their post-war lives through 2015. Photographs consists of pre-war images of Ed with his Jewish scout group and wartime images of him with the Dutch Resistance in their hut in the woods.
Please note that CDs 1-4 were subject to a manufacturing issue and the content of those CDs could not be digitized. Parts 4-6 are the only portions that are currently available online.
Flash drive case (a: case, b: lid) labeled, "An Informal History of the Lessing Family, 1811-2015" along with a paper insert (c) with information about the contents of the digital storage device, which is no longer in the case.