Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:24:21
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Also in Danielle [Fernande] Halerie Snegg and David Snegg collection
The collection consists of a Star of David badge, a drawing and correspondence relating to the experiences of Avram, Marguerite, Danielle [Fernande], and David Halerie in France during and after the Holocaust.
The Danielle and David Snegg papers primarily consist of letters from Danielle’s father to Danielle in Paris that were smuggled out of the Blechhammer labor camp as well as love letters exchanged between Danielle and her future husband, American serviceman David Snegg, at the end of the war while Danielle waited for her father to return home. The collection also includes a postcard and letter Danielle’s parents wrote to her from Drancy in the hours before their deportation to Auschwitz in September 1942; one real and one false identification card for Danielle; David’s immunization record; and photographs of Avram and Marguerita Halerie, Danielle and David Snegg, and the Pliez family who housed Danielle in Paris during the war. Correspondence primarily consists of letters and postcards from Avram in Blechhammer to Danielle and family friends. The correspondence signed using other names is also believed to be from Avram. This correspondence primarily documents packages requested and received, provides updates on his wellbeing and spirits, asks after mutual acquaintance, and advises Danielle to enjoy herself and behave well. Some of the correspondence filed under Avram’s name appear to be in someone else’s handwriting or to bear someone else’s signature. Addressees include the Vignas, Pliez, and Ponnelle families as well as Danielle (“Fernande”). This correspondence follows a previously arranged numerical order and is roughly in chronological order as well. This series also includes letters and postcards from someone named Marcel imprisoned at Blechhammer. Marcel’s correspondence describes weather and working conditions, exchanges greetings among mutual friends (Gabrielle and the Pliez, Ponnelle, and Vignas families), thanks Danielle for packages, and asks for more aid. The letters and postcards frequently refer to someone named “François,” which might be a code name for Danielle’s father. The letters and postcards appear to have been smuggled out of Blechhammer and mailed from Dortmund. This correspondence follows a previously arranged numerical order and is largely in chronological order as well. Danielle’s letters to David describe her love and longing for him, documents her anxious wait for her family’s return from the concentration camps, recounts her daily activities, work, and leisure time, and passes along news of mutual acquaintances. Many of the letters have dried flowers attached to them or lipstick marks where Danielle kissed the letter. David’s letters to Danielle reciprocate her love, make plans for their marriage, and ask after her father.
Factory-printed French Star of David badge, owned by the family of Danielle (Fernande) Halerie. In June 1942, German authorities required Jews in France to wear a badge which consisted of a yellow Star of David with a black outline, and the word “Jew” printed inside the star in French, which cost a textile ration coupon. The badge was used to stigmatize and control the Jewish population. Danielle was living in Paris, France, with her Romanian-born parents, Avram and Marguerita, and older brother, David, when the German army invaded France and occupied the city on June 14, 1940. During the German occupation, Jews in the city faced increasing persecution, and systematic deportations began in 1942. David attempted to escape across the French border, but was arrested and in July, deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland, where he was killed. That September, both Avram and Marguerita were imprisoned in the Drancy transit camp and deported to Auschwitz. Marguerita was likely killed upon arrival, but Avram was sent to the Blechhammer forced labor camp. Danielle survived the war in hiding with family friends, under an assumed name. After the liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944, she met American serviceman David Snegg, and the couple married in January 1946. Danielle later learned that her father was sent on a death march to Gross-Rosen concentration camp in January 1945, then transferred to Buchenwald concentration camp in February, and likely died before the camp was liberated in April. In 1947, Danielle and David moved to the United States, where they raised their two sons.