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Curt Gutsmuth papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2000.566.3

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    Curt Gutsmuth papers

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    The Curt Gutsmuth papers include biographical material, correspondence, a photograph, and printed material relating to Curt and Nelly Gutsmuth and their family’s experiences escaping Germany and hiding in the Netherlands during the war. This collection also includes biographical material, testimony, and printed material relating to other victims of Holocaust. Curt was a philatelist and some of the document relating to other victims were acquired by Curt while obtaining his collection.

    Gutsmuth family papers include an ID card from Theresienstadt and a repatriation card issued to Hedwig Schwarz, Nelly’s aunt, a letter from Jette Levi to her son and daughter-in-law, Felix and Flory, who were in hiding in the Netherlands, and an account of Curt and Nelly’s experiences while hiding in the Netherlands as well as a color copy of a photograph of Nelly’s father, Emil Neckarsulmer’s hardware store in 1938. The collection also includes a visa for Bolivia issued to Isidor Gutsmuth, which was obtained by Curt, and a list of personal belongings.

    Printed materials include an anti-Semitic postcard, a Jewish publication from the Netherlands regarding the arrests of Jews, a resistance newspaper from Amersfoort, Netherlands where Curt and Nelly were hiding, and a resistance flyer published in the Netherlands. The collection also includes the front page of Gießener Anzeiger from 1905 which includes an article that mentions Eric’s grandfather, Emmanuel Gutsmuth, the front page of EL PLATA, a newspaper from Uruguay, dated May 7, 1945, and several front pages from Dutch newspapers from 1940-1944 relating to the German occupation.

    This collection also includes testimony by Ludwig Stern about his experiences in the Theresienstadt and Auschwitz concentration camps. Ludwig Stern was born in Giessen, Germany, the same town as Curt, and Ludwig also immigrated to Uruguay.

    Biographical materials include documents of victims, unrelated to the Gutsmuth family, including documents acquired by Curt while obtaining his stamp collection. Documents include a passport issued to a Jewish women from Vilnius, a registration form and pass for safe conduct issued to Isidore Jurovics, a German passport issued to Hilda Schönemann, a Red Cross letter from Jakob Israel to Mrs. Bloch regarding the Katz family, and a letter sent to Mr. Arensberg announcing the death of Klara Ledermann.
    inclusive:  1917-1959
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Eric Gutsmuth
    Collection Creator
    Curt Gutsmuth
    Curt Gutsmuth (1905-1985) was born to Bertha (née Bermann, 1874-1945) and Emanuel (1856-c.1933) Gutsmuth. He had two brothers, Isidor (b. 1903) and Avraham (also Abraham or Alfred, b. 1912), and a sister, Erna (b. 1907). They lived near Giessen, Germany and his father owned a fabric business. Curt graduated during the First World War and worked for a painting company. In 1934, Curt immigrated to the Netherlands and helped his brother, Abraham, immigrate later that year and they settled in Rotterdam. Erna immigrated to London through the Netherlands in 1935 and Bertha immigrated to the Netherlands in 1938 where she also settled in Rotterdam. Isidor was imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp in 1938, but he was released later that year because Curt was able to obtain visas for Isidor and his wife to Bolivia.

    In 1938, Curt met Nelly (also Nellie, née Levi, 1911-1990) in the Netherlands. Nelly was born to Maier (1868-1933) and Jette (née Aufäuser b. 1875) Levi and had three brothers, Hugo (b. 1902), Sam (b. 1906) and Felix (b. 1912). Nelly emigrated from Germany to Rotterdam in 1935 with the help of Theo and Felix. Her mother joined her in 1938. In 1940, in order to avoid deportation, Curt, Bertha, Nelly, and Jette were forced into hiding at the home of a Christian family. In July 1942, Curt and his mother met Petrus (Piet) Brandsen. He was an underground activist who gave them fake identity cards and arranged for them to go into hiding with the van der Hoevens family, while Piet and Alberdina (Dina) hid Nelly’s brother and sister-in -law, Felix and Flora van Beek. In 1980, Yad Vashem recognized Petrus Franciscus Brandsen and his wife, Alberdina Johanna Geertruida Brandsen-Truyers as Righteous Among the Nations. Curt and Nelly were married while in hiding and they stayed in hiding until the end of the war. They had a son, Eric, in 1946 and immigrated to Uruguay in 1951.

    Physical Details

    4 folders
    4 oversize folders
    System of Arrangement
    The Gutsmuth family papers are arranged as a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The donor, source institution, or a third party has asserted copyright over some or all of the material(s) in this collection. 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

    Eric Gutsmuth donated the Curt Gutsmuth papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2000 and 2004. The accessions previously numbered 2000.556.1 and 2004.363 are included in this collection.
    Funding Note
    The accessibility of this collection was made possible by the generous donors to our crowdfunded Save Their Stories campaign.
    Primary Number
    Record last modified:
    2023-04-11 10:33:05
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