Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:19:15
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn676536
Also in Ettelson family collection
Consists of a suitcase, wallet, photo album, photographs, newspapers, clippings, notebooks, documents, correspondence, ephemera, and other original material pertaining to the experiences of Ralph Ettelson who emigrated from Vilkaviskis, Lithuania to the Dominican Republic before the war. The collection includes correspondence and photographs pertaining to Ralph's mother, Itta Ettelson Shimenski, and his siblings Reveka and Max, who perished in the Holocaust. Additional photographs, correspondence, and clippings pertain to Jewish communities, and Jewish refugees, in the the Caribbean and Ralph's life in New York where he settled with his wife Anita Albam.
The collection documents the Holocaust-era experiences of the Ettelson family of Vilkaviškis, Lithuania, including Ralph Ettelson’s immigration to the Dominican Republic in 1927 and later immigration to the United States in the late 1930s, and his mother Itta Schimensky’s wartime experiences in Vilkaviškis before she and her daughter Rivka perished in 1941. Included is a small amount of biographical material, correspondence, printed material and ephemera, and photographs. Biographical material consists of documents related to Ralph after he moved to New York. Included are various address books, financial records, notebooks, and a poesie book. Also included is an affidavit regarding the transfer of ownership of property in Vilkaviškis to his sister Rivka Schimensky (referred to here as Rebecca), and documents related to his marriage to Anita Albam in 1938. Correspondence primarily consists of letters sent to Ralph in the United States from his mother Itta in Vilkaviškis. The bulk of the letters were sent in 1938-1939. The last letter in the collection is dated 10 April 1941 and likely the last one received by Ralph. Topics in the letter include her economic situation due to her child dying in 1938, Ralph not writing to her enough, her dead husband Michael, and not receiving a United States visa. The last page of the letter is addressed to Ralph’s wife Anna. A donor-provided translation is included with the letter. Other correspondence includes letters exchanged by Ralph and Anita, letters from his cousin David Paiewonsky and his uncle Jule Schimensky. Additionally, there is a small amount of correspondence, primarily with the National Council of Jewish Women, regarding Ralph’s efforts to become a naturalized citizen. Printed material and ephemera primarily consists of business cards, clippings, receipts, recipes, and stamps. Photographs include pre-war depictions of the Schimensky family in Vilkaviškis, Ralph in Lithuania and the United States, his wife Anita, and various family and friends. Also included is a photograph album likely of the Schimensky family in Vilkaviškis. This collection includes negatives.