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Rachel and Harvey Goldfarb collection

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2000.421.2

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    Rachel and Harvey Goldfarb collection

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    The Rachel and Harvey Goldfarb collection includes biographical material, correspondence, manuscripts, printed material, and photographs documenting the prewar, wartime, and postwar experiences of Rachel and Harvey Goldfarb and their families in Dokszyce, Poland (now Dokšycy, Belarus); Radom, Poland; and Santa Cesarea and Bari, Italy.

    Biographical material includes identification and naturalization documents for Rachel and Dina Mutterperl and Red Cross documents relating to the fate of Shlomo Mutterperl. Manuscript and printed materials include a Hebrew transcript of an oral history interview with Dina Mutterperl; correspondence and transcripts of speeches given at the commemoration of the 60th year of the liberation of the Wiesengrund concentration camp; newspaper clippings and printouts of website pages; and two undergraduate college papers that feature the experiences of Rachel and Harvey Goldfarb, written by Aimee Povich, entitled “Ethics and the Holocaust.”

    Photographs include pre-war photographs of the Mutterperl family and friends in Dokszyce, Poland (present day: Dokšycy, Belarus) and of the Goldfarb family in Radom, Poland. Photographs also depict an Israeli soldier from Dokszyce, whom the Mutterperls met after crossing the Alps, July 1945; Rachel Mutterperl and friends at the Santa Cesarea displaced persons camp in Italy, 1945-1947; and family friend Berel Rotstein in the barracks of the Buchenwald concentration camp after liberation and at the Santa Cesarea displaced persons camp.
    inclusive:  1918-2005
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Rachel Golfarb
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Rachel Goldfarb
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Rachel Mutterperl Goldfarb
    Collection Creator
    Rachel M. Goldfarb
    Rachel Mutterperl Goldfarb was born to Beryl and Dina Mutterperl on December 2, 1930 in Dokszyce, Poland (present day: Dokšycy, Belarus). Rachel’s brother, Shlomo Mutterperl, was three years younger. Dokszyce was three miles from the Soviet Union border and had a population of around 5,000; half of the inhabitants were Jewish. Beryl Mutterperl (d. 1937) was a businessman who bought cattle and farm products for export to Germany or for the nearby Polish border garrison. Dina owned a thriving fabric store. The Mutterperls lived in the center of town. Their businesses were attached to the house and fronted the street, and they had a large warehouse in the back.

    On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded eastern Poland, and Soviet troops occupied Dokszyce. Life for the Mutterperls changed drastically when the Soviet authorities nationalized the family businesses and banned religious schools. Rachel and other Jewish children had to attend Soviet public schools. Beryl became ill and died in 1937 after delivering products to Germany. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, German troops over ran Dokszyce and the town came under Nazi rule. In July 1941, German authorities required the Mutterperls and other Jewish families to wear yellow badges on the front and back of their garments to identity them as Jews, and designated a small section of Dokszyce near the synagogue as the Jewish ghetto. It was separated from the rest of the town by walls and barbed wire. German authorities forced several families to live in a single room; food quickly became scarce.

    When German SS and police began mass killings of the Jews in Dokszyce in 1942, Rachel and her family went into hiding, concealing themselves in a double wall between the back of the family home and their former business warehouse. They stayed in their hiding place for over a week before supplies ran out. One night just before the final liquidation, Dina, Rachel, and Shlomo were able to escape from the ghetto. After Dina and her children crossed the Berezina River, a farmer agreed to hide Shlomo, while Dina and Rachel hid at the edge of the village until nightfall. Dina and Rachel were helped by a Polish woman who allowed them to stay in her house. While there, Dina received word that the Germans had discovered and killed Shlomo and had severely beaten the farmer who had sheltered him. Knowing they were no longer safe in the village, mother and daughter made their way to the ghetto in Glebokie, where they lived with family friends. Dina and Rachel were both assigned to perform forced labor outside the ghetto walls, which provided a new opportunity for escape.

    Dina joined a group of partisans, who had formed in the forest outside Glebokie. Dina became the cook for the partisan group, and Rachel was her assistant. Expecting the partisans to be effective against the Germans, the Soviets supplied the groups from the air beginning in 1943. In late summer of 1944, Dina and Rachel marched with the partisans to the Soviet lines. After being liberated by the Soviets, mother and daughter returned to Glebokie, but experienced widespread and overt antisemitism from the townspeople. Dina was able to find work as a railroad worker, traveling behind the Soviet front lines to repair water towers destroyed by the retreating Germans. Dina and Rachel made their way to Lublin, where other Jewish survivors were gathered to receive help. They left Poland for Italy and stayed in the Santa Cesarea and Bari displaced persons’ camps.

    In 1947, Rachel and Dina immigrated to the United States with sponsorship and support from Beryl’s sister. Rachel married Harvey Goldfarb, a Holocaust survivor and Korean War veteran, in June 1952. Harvey Goldfarb was born in Radom, Poland in 1918 and was liberated at Wiesengrund concentration camp near Vaihingen and der Enz. The couple have two children, Lynn and Barry. Rachel was a real estate agent for 30 years and volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Physical Details

    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The Rachel and Harvey Goldfarb collection is arranged into five series.

    Series 1: Biographical materials, 1945-1994
    Series 2: Correspondence, 2005
    Series 3: Manuscripts, 2004-2009, undated
    Series 4: Printed materials, 1999-2005
    Series 5: Photographs, 1919-1995

    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 the material(s) in this collection. 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

    Rachel Mutterperl Goldfarb donated the Rachel and Harvey Goldfarb collection to the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2000, 2010, 2015. These donations were assigned the following accession numbers: 2000.421.1; 2010.429; 2015.408.1. The Rachel and Harvey Goldfarb collection is unified under the catalog record number 2000.421.2.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Primary Number
    Record last modified:
    2023-09-08 10:31:49
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