Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Shames family collection

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2018.649.2

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Shames family collection

    Please select from the following options:


    The collection consists of pre-war photographs of the Shames family in Warsaw, Poland and post-war photographs in Lwów, Poland (Lviv, Ukraine), Siberia, Berlin, Germany, Israel, and the United States. Includes two photographs of the family on a ship during their immigration to the United States. Some of the photographs are copy prints.
    inclusive:  circa 1920-circa 1948
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Tzila Weinstein
    Collection Creator
    Tzila Weinstein
    Tzila Shames Weinstein (née Schames) is the daughter of Arje Lejb Schames (later Leon Shames) and Chana Aidenberg (Eidenberg) . Leib was born on February 26, 1906 in Lwów, Poland (Lviv, Ukraine). He was the youngest of ten children born to Szalom Schames and Henia (née Shlifky) Schames. Arje’s siblings were: Tzila, Regina, Salka (Kaunfer, b. 1884), Laja (Strau, b. 1899), Bertha (Axelrod), Jacob (Yankel, b. 1888), Ignatz (Itcha, b. 1894) and Max, Srulik (b. 1902). Arje Lejb went to work at the age of twelve to support the family.

    Chana Aidenberg was born on March 8. 1916 in Warsaw, Poland and grew up in Kozienice, Poland. She was the daughter of Chassidic Jews, Yosef and Tzima (Sima, née Kirshenbaum) Aidenberg. Yosef worked as a tinsmith, but the family was very poor. Chana had four older siblings: Moshe, Hershel, Alte Esther, and Rochel. Tzima died giving birth to Chana, and her older sister Rochel cared for her until she was about nine years old. Rochel died of natural causes around age eighteen or nineteen. Yosef later remarried to Rivke and they had two children: Henchke and Avraham.

    Chana was living in Warsaw when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. She and her best friend Dina decided to flee east to the Soviet Union. Chana was engaged to be married, and her fiancé was already in the Soviet Union. She first returned to Kozienice to say goodbye to her father, but didn’t tell him where she was going. She and Dina boarded a train east and were brought to a labor camp in Siberia.

    Arje Lejb lived in Lwów and worked as s a barber. After Stalin occupied eastern Poland, the Russians confiscated his store. Soon after the German invasion, the janitor of his apartment building stopped him outside and told him that the Nazis were in the building looking for Jews. Arje Leib immediately fled and boarded a train east. The Germans shot at the train from airplanes, killing some of the passengers, but it arrived safely in the Soviet Union. Arje Lejb was taken to a work camp in Siberia where he felled trees. In his spare time, he worked as a barber for military officers to earn extra ration coupons.

    Chana never found her fiancé, but she and Arje Lejb met and fell in love. They married on December 25, 1942. Their daughter Tzila was born on October 22, 1944. She was only four pounds at birth. Soon after she was born, the NKVD arrested Arje Lejb for not fulfilling his army service. He was conscripted, but never served on the front. When Tzila was about six months old, she became very ill with pneumonia, and her mother carried her by foot to the hospital. Arje Lejb returned home right before Tzila’s first birthday.

    After the end of the war they went to Szczecin, Poland. In the summer of 1946 they went to the Tempelhof DP camp in Berlin. Chana became pregnant and her second daughters Henia (Helene) Schames was born on October 1, 1946 in the Tempelhof hospital. Arje Lejb worked as a barber in the city. One day while riding to work on his bicycle, he was hit by a car and was hospitalized for six months. After his recovery, the family moved to Israel in February 1948, and in March 1955, they immigrated to the United States.

    Physical Details

    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as a single folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. 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

    The collection was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Tzila Weinstein. An accretion was donated in 2019. The collections previously cataloged as 2018.649.1 and 2019.283.1 have been incorporated into this collection.
    Primary Number
    Record last modified:
    2023-04-11 09:42:26
    This page: