- The Richard and Ernestine Benes papers contains a diary, biographical material, and emigration and immigration documents relating to Richard and Ernestine Benes attempts to emigrate from Austria to the United States. The diary was written by Richard from June 6 - July 4 1941. In the diary Richard writes about their emigration from Austria to Prague, Berlin, Paris, and Spain as well as their time aboard the ship and arriving in New York City.
Biographical materials include birth and baptism certificates, a marriage certificate, proof of citizenship, identification cards, passports (Reisepass) for Richard and Ernestine, military documents for Richard, and documentation indicating that Richard will now have the middle name Israel and Ernestine will now have the middle name Sara. Also included is a birth certificate for Anna Müller.
Emigration and immigration materials include vaccination cards, confirmation of Richard and Ernestine’s placement on the waiting list, permission to immigrate, affidavits from a family friend in New Jersey, documentation stating that Richard does not owe any taxes and does not have a police record, correspondence and receipts from the United States Consulate, and an envelope from Richard and Ernestine travels with their names listed.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Louis Beres
- Collection Creator
- Richard Benes
Richard Benes (b. 1908 in Vienna, Austria) married Ernestine Silberman (b. 1911 in Vienna, Austria) in 1938 and they lived in Vienna, Austria. Prior to getting married Richard attempted to obtain visas to the United States, but was unsuccessful. Shortly after they were married, they attempted to flee to Switzerland, but were denied. He continued his attempts to obtain visas and in 1940 he was successful. They fled from Austria to Spain through Prague, Berlin, and Paris and in June 1941 they left from Barcelona, Spain aboard the Villa de Madrid for the United States.
Sigismund and Margaret Beres, relatives of Richard and Ernestine, were Austrian Jewish citizens who fled Nazi occupied Austria in 1938 for Switzerland. They spent two years in the Lugano labor camp before leaving for Zurich where they spent the remainder of the war. Their son, Louis Rene Beres, was born in Austria in 1945. The family immigrated to the United States in 1947.