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Jacob and Rita Litman papers, including Samuel Golfard diary

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2008.269.2

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    Jacob and Rita Litman papers, including Samuel Golfard diary

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    The collection includes biographical material, restitution files, and photographs primarily documenting Jacob and Rita Litman’s experiences at the displaced persons camp at Bayerisch Gmain, Germany, from 1946 to 1949, their immigration to the United States, and efforts to obtain restitutions as well as extensive post-war correspondence from Tadeusz Jankiewicz, who helped Jacob escape, and other Poles who knew and helped Jacob during the war. The collection also includes the diary of Samuel Golfard, which was written during Samuel's internment as a Jewish forced laborer in and around Przemysliany, Poland (Peremyshliany, Ukraine) from 25 January 1943 until 14 April 1943, including an English translation provided by Jacob.

    Biographical materials include birth verifications and a driver’s license for Jacob Litman as well as a marriage verification, United States petition for naturalization, and United States certificate of naturalization for Jacob and Rita Litman.

    Correspondence consists primarily of post-war letters written from Tadeusz Jankiewicz to Jacob Litman as well as additional correspondence from other who helped Jacob during the war.

    The diary was written by Samuel Golfard during his internment as a Jewish forced laborer in and around Przemysliany, Poland (Peremyshliany, Ukraine) from 25 January 1943 until 14 April 1943. After Samuel's death, the diary was entrusted to Tadeusz Jankiewicz, a non-Jewish Pole who tried to help Jacob, Samuel, and other local Jews prior to and during their internment, and who helped Jacob escape from the forced labor camp at Kurowice in 1943. Tadeusz gave Samuel's diary to Jacob several years after the war and Jacob kept it and translated it into English. Tadeusz was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1966.

    Subject files includes correspondence with the United Restitution Organization, applications, and supporting documents relating to Jacob and Rita’s efforts to obtain restitution for damages to their health. The series also includes correspondence, letters of certification, and papers relating to Jacob’s career as an educator.

    Photographs consists of one portrait of the family of Abraham Avrum Zalcman, Jacob’s maternal grandfather, in Nowy Dwor, Poland. The photograph was sent to family members in the United States prior to the Holocaust and depicts Golda Zalcman, Shifra Litman, Beyla-Riva Zalcman, Jacob Litman, Abraham Avrum Zalcman, Chana Zalcman Litman, Yehuda Meyer Litman, Ruchl Zalcman, Nute Zalcman, Yenta Zalcman, and Yechiel Zalcman. Only Jacob Litman survived the Holocaust. The series also includes pre-war and wartime photographs of Jacob and Rita Litman and their family during the 1930’s and 1940’s in Germany and in DP camps.
    inclusive:  1927-1984
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jacob Litman
    Collection Creator
    Jacob Litman
    Rita Litman
    Samuel Golfard
    Jacob Litman was born 2 June 1920 in Gomel, Russia, and later lived in Warsaw. In 1939, after the German and Soviet invasion of Poland, Litman went to live in Przemysliany, a town near Lwow (present day Peremyshliany, Ukraine). Initially he lived with the non-Jewish family of Tadeusz Jankiewicz, but later, after the German invasion of the Soviet Union and Soviet-held territories in 1941, he went into hiding, but eventually was forced to move into the Przemysliany ghetto. He was a forced laborer from 1942-1943, working in a stone quarry, a construction group, and a burial brigade. In the latter capacity, he buried Samuel Golfard after he was killed by the Nazis in 1943. Litman received Golfard's wartime diary from Tadeusz Jankiewicz, who also helped Litman escape from the forced labor camp and go into hiding. After the war, Litman found his way to Germany, where he worked in a displaced persons camp at Bayerisch Gmain, and married fellow Przemysliany survivor Rita Honig in 1947. The couple immigrated to the United States in 1949, settling in Utica, New York, where Litman found work as a teacher, before moving to Union, New Jersey, where Litman served as principal of Temple Beth Shalom's Hebrew School. He earned bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees from New York University, and served that university as an adjunct associate professor, while working for the American Association for Jewish Education. Jacob Litman died in 2004. [Source: The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia, edited by Wendy Lower (Alta Mira Press, 2011)].
    Rita Litman (née Honig 1920-2008) was born in Przemyslany, Poland (now Peremyshliany, Ukraine). During the German occupation of the region about Przemyslany, she hid in the nearby forests until the area was liberated by Soviet forces in 1944. Following the war, she joined Jacob Litman in traveling to the displaced persons camp at Bayerisch Gmund, working with him at a home for orphaned Jewish children, and teaching at the Yehud-ha Macabi Children's Center. She married Jacob in Bad Reichenhall in August 1947, and they immigrated to the United States two years later, living in Utica, New York and Union, New Jersey. They had three children, Robert, Julius, and Anita.
    Samuel Golfard was born around the year 1910 near Radom, Poland and had three sisters, Maria, Pola and Bronia. Following the German invasion in 1939, he fled with his sister Mania to Volhynia, in the Soviet occupied region of Poland. In 1941, after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, he fled to Przemysliany, and was sheltered by the family of Dr. Jacob Katz. At this time, he met Jacob Litman, who likewise was living with the Katz family. He lived in the Przemysliany ghetto from late 1942 until April 1943, shortly before its liquidation. At that time, he hid in a nearby labor camp, from which he planned to escape with Litman, until he was captured and separated from the other forced laborers. When attempting to shoot the German guards with a pistol he had hidden, they returned fire, killing him and several other prisoners. [Source: The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia, edited by Wendy Lower (Alta Mira Press, 2011)].

    Physical Details

    1 box
    1 oversize box
    System of Arrangement
    The Jacob and Rita Litman papers, including Samuel Golfard diary is arranged as five series.
    Series 1: Biographical material, 1947-1957 and undated
    Series 2: Correspondence, 1953-1984
    Series 3: Diary, 1943-1983
    Series 4: Subject files, 1947-1977
    Series 5: Photographs, approximately 1927-1940s.

    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 these material(s). The Museum does not own the copyright for the material and does not have authority to authorize use. For permission, please contact the rights holder(s).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Dr. Robert Litman, Julius Litman, and Anita Litman Millman donated the Jacob and Rita Litman papers, including Samuel Golfard diary to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in honor of their father, Jacob Litman, in 2008. The accessions previously numbered 2008.269.1 and 2008.316.1 have been incorporated 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:
    2023-03-30 15:22:06
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