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Golodetz family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2018.629.1

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    Golodetz family papers

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    The collection contains letters sent to Alexander Golodetz from his parents Wita and Mendel Golodetz and other relatives in Poland. Alexander received the letters in New York after his immigration there in 1938. The bulk of the letters are pre-war, sent between June 1938 and August 1939. Included with the collection are donor-provided English translations of the letters. There are three wartime translated letters without the originals, including one from Alexander’s uncle Fishel Landau and the last letter received from his father in the Soviet Union dated 11 February 1941. Also included in the collection are photocopies of Alexander’s United States Army discharge papers from 1945.
    inclusive:  1938-1945
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Michele Golodetz and Denise Librach
    Collection Creator
    Golodetz family
    Alexander Golodetz (Sasunciu/Sashinka, 1918-1989) was born on 11 December 1918 in Kiev to Mendel (1881 or 1885-1945?) and Wita (née Landau, 1895-1941?). He had two brothers: Solomon (Sama, 1914?-1963) and Lionel (Lolek/Lolus, 1916?-1986?). Mendel’s family was in the commodities business and he had branches in London, New York, and Hamburg. The family moved to Warsaw, Poland in 1920 to be near Wita’s family. In 1934 the business was accused of tax evasion. They were acquitted, but Mendel and Wita decided that their sons should leave Warsaw after they graduated from gymnasium.

    In June 1938, Alexander went to New York (via London) where he joined the family business. His older brother Lionel went to London, where he also joined the family business, and his eldest brother, Solomon, went to Palestine.

    When Poland was divided by the Germans and Russians in 1939, Mendel and Wita went to Lwów, Poland (Lviv, Ukraine). He was sent to a work camp in Siberia and died there near the end of the war (at age 60). On 11 February 11 1941 he wrote a letter to his sons alluding to their mother’s death.

    Alexander served as an interpreter in the US Army during the war from 1942-1945. He worked first in Germany and then in a Russian displaced persons camp.

    The rest of the Golodetz family survived the Holocaust because they were already overseas by 1939. Only one member of Wita’s family survived. Her brother’s son, Julus (Liosha) Landau stole the papers, and took the name, of a young man named Ludwik Mysak, who died in the hospital bed next to him. As Ludwik, he went from town to town and moved whenever he thought that someone suspected that he was Jewish. Ludwik retained the name following the war and became a diplomat and journalist in Warsaw.

    Physical Details

    German Polish English
    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as a single series.

    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
    Warsaw (Poland).
    Corporate Name
    United States. Army

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2018 by Michele Golodetz and Denise Librach, granddaughters of Wita and Mendel Golodetz.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 18:04:26
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