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Zonligt family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.669.1

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    Zonligt family papers

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    The Zonligt family papers consist of biographical material, correspondence, and photographs documenting the Zonligt family from Belgium and their Blitz relatives from the Netherlands, their migration to France in 1940, their immigration to the United States in 1940 and 1941, and Gerard Zonligt’s work as an UNRRA officer at the Wels displaced persons camp.
    Biographical materials include identification papers, banking records, ration cards, and immigration records documenting the Blitz and Zonligt families in Belgium, their migration to France in 1940, and their immigration to the United States in 1940 and 1941. This series also includes student records documenting Margot Blitz’s training as a nurse, a family history Deena Zonligt wrote as a high school assignment, records documenting Gerard Zonligt’s work as an UNRRA officer at the Wels DP camp and the diary he kept during that time, and two poetry/autograph books Hanna Zonligt used to collect memories from her classmates in Belgium.
    Correspondence primarily consists of postcards from Gerard Zonligt to his family including courting his future wife during the 1920s, reporting to his family from business trips during the 1930s and during his UNRRA service from 1945-1946. This series includes additional postcards exchanged among friends and family from approximately 1918-1946. Some of the postcards are accompanied by translations. Most of the postcards were formerly pasted into a scrapbook, so many bear adhesive and torn backing paper that obscures some of the writing.
    Four photographs depict Margot and Dina Blitz, Gerard Zonligt in UNRRA uniform, and a cat and dog on a sofa.
    inclusive:  1916-1947
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Natanya Sortland
    Collection Creator
    Zonligt family
    Gottschalk Levie Blitz and Naatje Blitz were married in Belgium in 1866 and had seven children, including Marcus (1882-1947) and Heintje (1878-1953), born in Amsterdam. Marcus Blitz became a tobacco merchant, married Dina van Mecklenburg (b. Lübeck, 1883-?), and had three children in Amsterdam: Hanna Blitz (1909-1994), Jules Blitz (b. approximately 1910), and Margot Blitz (1912-1981). Heintje married diamond cutter Mozes Zonligt (1877-1943, killed at Auschwitz) and had two children in Antwerp: Sientje (Celine) Zonligt (1904-1995) and Gerard Zonligt (1907-1982). First cousins Hanna Blitz and Gerard Zonligt married and had two children: Martin (b. Ixelles, 1934-2012) and Deena (b. Brussels, 1937). Jules Blitz married Josee and had daughter Madeline Blitz in Ixelles around 1940. Margot married Gerry Saenger. Celine married Leopold Blits and had Simon and Yetty Blits. Marie Josephine Blitz-Wigart was born around 1932 in Meemen.

    Gerard Zonligt owned a small advertising firm. The Zonligt and Blitz families left Belgium in May 1940 and spent a year in Ambert, France. Marcus, Dina, and Margot Blitz immigrated to the United States in November 1940. In 1941, the Zonligt family made their way through Spain and bribed passage to New York aboard a Spanish ship. They arrived in the United States in June 1941 and spent ten years in Salt Lake City. Gerard returned to Europe in 1945 and worked for UNRRA at the Wels Displaced Persons Camp until 1946.

    Physical Details

    Dutch English French
    1 box
    3 book enclosures
    1 oversize folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Zonligt family papers are arranged as three series:

    Series 1: Biographical materials, 1916-1947
    Series 2: Correspondence, 1918-1946
    Series 3: Photographs, approximately 1930-1946

    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

    Natanya Sortland, granddaughter of Gerard Samuel Zonligt, donated the Zonligt family papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2017.
    Funding Note
    The accessibility of this collection was made possible by the generous donors to our crowdfunded Save Their Stories campaign.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-23 13:46:50
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