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Kim family papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2019.360.1

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    Kim family papers

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    The collection documents the pre-war and wartime lives of the Max and Regina Kim, Polish Jews who lived in Berlin, Germany with their daughter Betty before immigrating to the United States in 1937. Biographical materials consist of clippings, birth certificates, identification papers, and marriage documents. Included are clippings from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Max Kim and Chaim Korngold’s Berliner Zionistische Vereingung identification cards, Max’s Fremdenpass issued in Germany, Regina’s Polish passport, and Max and Regina’s marriage papers. Immigration papers include an affidavit by Max’s brother Jacob Kiem and correspondence by Congressman Edwin M. Schaefer and Secretary of State Cordell Hull regarding the visa applications of the Kim family. Correspondence includes pre-war and wartime letters exchanged by the Kim and Korngold families, including Regina’s sister Bronia. Photographs consist of pre-war depictions of family members including Regina’s father Israel, Max and Regina’s wedding day, and Betty’s kindergarten class.
    inclusive:  1915-1983
    bulk:  1929-1941
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Betty Kim Rudolph
    Collection Creator
    Kim family
    Izchek Mendel (Max) Kim (1900-1970) was born on 23 October 1900 in Łódź, Poland to parents Srul and Brajndla Kim. During the interwar period Max relocated from Poland to Berlin. In Berlin Max met and married Regina Tenenbaum.

    Ryfka Chaja (Regina) Kim (1895-1969) was born on 14 August 1895 in Warsaw, Poland to Israel Mordka and Rajsla Tenenbaum. Israel and Rajsla raised a large family and Regina grew up among 8 brothers and sisters. As a young woman Regina relocated to Berlin from Poland and found work for a time as a seamstress.

    The couple married in 1929 and lived among extended relatives, including Regina’s sister Mimi Korngold and Mimi’s husband Chaim (sometimes referred to as Felix). In 1931 Regina and Max’s daughter Betti was born (later Betty Kim Rudolph). Together Regina and Max were the proprietors of a clothing factory. Max worked as the merchandiser of the business which also employed members of the Kim’s extended family. While the Kim family observed religious holidays they did not keep Kosher and were more secular in their daily life. In the early 1930s Max joined the Berliner Zionistiche Vereinigung (The Berlin Zionist Association) with his brother-in-law Chaim Korngold.

    In 1936 Max’s younger brother Jacob, who had immigrated to the United States shortly after the First World War, offered to sponsor the Kim family’s immigration to the United States. Jacob, aware of rising Antisemitism in Germany, was concerned about the family’s safety and was insistent that the Kims, particularly Betty, should leave Germany. After initial reticence the entire Kim family began efforts to emigrate. Jacob, a resident of Illinois, appealed to his State Representative Edwin M. Schaefer for assistance on behalf of his loved ones. Rep. Schaefer was successful in interceding with then Secretary of State Cordell Hull and in May 1937 the Kim’s were awarded their immigration visas to the United States. The following August Max, Regina, and Betty sailed for New York City aboard the SS President Harding. Upon their arrival in the United States the Kims settled in Missouri where they operated a clothing store. Three years later Regina’s sister and brother-in-law, Mimi and Chaim Korngold, were successful in fleeing Germany and joined the Kims in Missouri. In the first years of the Second World War the Kims and Korngolds remained in contact with their loved ones in Germany and Poland. This contact ceased in the course of the Holocaust as family members perished.

    Physical Details

    1 box
    2 folder (oversize)
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as four series.

    Series 1. Biographical material, 1915-1983
    Series 2. Immigration papers, 1936-1937
    Series 3. Correspondence, 1926-1955
    Series 4. Photographs, circa 1920-circa 1937

    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 these material(s). The Museum does not own the copyright for the material and does not have authority to authorize use. For permission, please contact the rights holder(s).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2019 by Betty Kim Rudolph.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:38:28
    This page:

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