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Drechsler family papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2018.635.8

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    Correspondence, photographs, and immigration papers documenting the Holocaust-era experiences of the Drechsler family of Trnava (present day Slovakia). The bulk of the collection consists of wartime letters sent to Clara Drechsler (later Clara Kramer) in the United States from her parents Isidor and Anna Drechsler and siblings Andor, Rose, and Bela in Trnava and elsewhere in Europe. Also included is a small amount of immigration paperwork, recipes, and prewar family photographs.

    Biographical material consists of a small amount of financial records, handwritten recipes, and immigration paperwork. The immigration papers include letters regarding affidavits and an undated letter from Isidor petitioning the HIAS for tickets to the United States.

    Correspondence primarily consists of letters to Clara sent from her family in Trnava, Budapest, and elsewhere in Europe. Also included are letters from friends and relatives in Slovakia and other parts of Europe. The bulk of the letters are from 1939-1941.

    Photographs include pre-war depictions of the Drechsler family including Bela Drechsler in his Free Czech Army uniform, Rose Drechsler and her husband Gyuri Pogany, and Clara Drechsler aboard the SS Manhattan en route to the United States in 1939.
    inclusive:  1928-1996
    bulk:  1939-1941
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Agnes Rothkopf and Holly Rothkopf
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Holly Rothkopf
    Collection Creator
    Drechsler family
    Clara Drechsler (later Clara Kramer, 1908-1996) was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1908 to Isidor and Anna Drechsler. Her father Isidor (1880-1942) was born in Trnava (present day Slovakia) to Bernhard and Adela (née Sidon) Drechsler. Her mother Anna (née Weiss, 1883-1942) was born in Szeged, Hungary to Bernard and Klara (née Pulitzer) Weiss. Isidor and Anna were immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire who immigrated to the United States with their young son, Andor (b. 1905, also known as Bondi). Soon after Clara’s birth the family decided to return to Trnava. Clara’s younger siblings, twins Béla and Rose (later Rose Pogany, nicknamed Baby), were born in Trnava in 1917. Isidor was the proprietor of an iron foundry in the city. Clara graduated from the University of Prague Law School, but did not practice law.

    After the German-annexation of Czechoslovakia in 1938 the Drechsler family began to experience anti-Semitic persecution. Clara travelled to the United States to attend the World’s Fair in June 1939 aboard the SS Manhattan. After the outbreak of World War II, she was not able to return to Europe, and was already an American citizen by birth. At the time of Clara’s departure, her brother Andor lived in Hungary and her brother Bela served with the Czech Army in exile. Her parents and sister Rose remained in Trnava.

    Within months of arriving in United States Clara married Charles Kramer (1912-2004). The couple settled in New York and had two children: Agnes (b. 1940) and Stanford (b. 1944). Clara remained in regular correspondence with her family in Europe. The couple also sent material support to Clara’s family through the JDC.

    In 1940 Rose escaped Czechoslovakia to join her brother Andor in Hungary. The Drechsler children endeavored to aid their parents living under German-occupation in Trnava in the hopes that they too might be able to flee. In approximately April or June 1942 Isidor and Anna were deported to Auschwitz where they were killed. Andor and Rose survived the Holocaust in hiding as non-Jews. Bela went to Palestine and immigrated to the United States in 1948. Rose and her family fled Hungary during the 1956 revolution, later immigrating to the United States with her husband Gyuri Pogany.

    Physical Details

    Hungarian English
    Photographs. Letters.
    2 boxes
    2 oversize folders
    System of Arrangement
    The collection is arranged as three series.

    Series 1. Biographical material, 1939-1948 and undated
    Series 2. Correspondence, 1928-1996 and undated
    Series 3. Photographs, circa 1920s-1941 and undated

    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 Holly Rothkopf in 2018. An accretion was donated in 2019. Holly is the granddaughter of Clara Drechsler Kramer. The collections previously cataloged as 20108.635.1 and 2019.270.1 have been incorporated into this collection.
    Primary Number
    Record last modified:
    2023-04-11 09:34:09
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