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Friedrich Haas identification card

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2019.428.1

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    Identification card issued to Friedrich Haas (Fredi Haas) by the Guvernamàntul Transnistriei Directia Industriei Turnatoria din Moghilev, dated September 10, 1943 (Legitimatie No. 732). Friedrich was living in Cernauti, (now, Chernivtsi, Ukraine) with his parents, Bernard and Lotte, and his three brothers, Norbert, Ignatz, and Adolph when it was ceded by Romania to the Soviet Union in 1940. In June 1941, Romanian and German forces occupied the city as part of the larger invasion of the Soviet Union. Norbert fled the city with the Soviet forces. Friedrich and his family were forced to abandon their home and relocate to the recently established ghetto. Soon after they were deported to Transnistria, and then sent to a ghetto in Moghilev. Bernard contracted typhus and died in 1943. Ignatz and Friedrich worked as forced laborers in the Jagendorf Foundry, which provided them with a meal a day and some protection from the authorities for their family. Soviet forces liberated Moghilev on March 20, 1944. Ignatz and Friedrich each returned to Romania independently, and their mother and Adolph followed later. Norbert was killed in combat as a Soviet army paratrooper in 1944. After the war ended, the family went to Austria. All three brothers worked as guides, leading Holocaust survivors from Innsbruck to Italy for the Bricha so they could immigrate to Israel as part of the Aliya Bet. In 1948, the family immigrated to Israel, and in 1961, Friedrich came to the United States. The collection also includes a lighter made by Friedrich Haas while he was a forced laborer in the Jagendorf Foundry in Moghilev (now Mohyliv-Podil’s’kyi Ukraine), an area located in Romanian-controlled Transnistria, from 1941 to 1944.
    creation:  1943 September 10
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum collection, gift of Friedrich Haas
    Collection Creator
    Friedrich E. Haas
    Friedrich Haas (1926-2019) was born in Cernauti, Romania (also known as Chernowitz, now Chernivtsi, Ukraine), to Bernard Dov (or Bernhard, 1892-1943) and Lotte (or Lotti, nee Heimer, 1905-?) Haas. Friedrich had three brothers, Norbert (1923-1944), Ignatz (or Yitzchak, b. 1924), and Adolph (b. 1927). Bernard was an accountant, and Lotte was a homemaker. Cernauti was part of the Austria-Hungary before World War I. Life for Jews in the city was difficult during the war; the city was occupied by the Russians, then taken back by Austria Hungary. After the war, Cernauti was incorporated into Romania and a civil government was established, which improved the Jews’ situation. In 1939, Cernauti had a Jewish population of nearly fifty thousand, representing over a third of the city’s total population. Jews held significant positions in the town’s economic and social life. Some served as vice mayors, while others were in associations of independent professionals and in the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

    On June 28, 1940, the Soviet Union forced Romania to cede a large portion of its northern and northeastern territory, including Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. Cernauti was included in this annexed territory, and as a result, Friedrich and his family were now under Soviet rule. Under the new Communist regime, approximately three thousand Jewish business owners, intellectuals, and those considered “capitalists” or “undesirable” were deported to Siberia. During this time, Romania was forced to cede additional territory to Bulgaria and Hungary. After the loss of territory, a new radical right-wing government led by General Ion Antonescu and the Iron Guard took power in Romania and joined the Axis Alliance.

    In June 1941, as part of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Romanian and German forces attacked Cernauti. Friedrich’s brother, Norbert, who had joined a communist youth group the year prior, fled the city with the Soviet forces. Cernauti was occupied on July 5, and the lives of Friedrich’s family and the larger Jewish community in the city were under the control of the hostile occupying forces. German and Romanian authorities plundered Jewish property and terrorized Jewish men and women. Approximately two thousand Jews were murdered within the first three days of occupation. A few days later, a German death squad, Einsatzgruppe D, murdered approximately four hundred Jewish leaders. The city’s synagogues were later set on fire and a further 682 Jews were rounded up and killed on August 1. Those who were not rounded up and killed were pressed into forced labor. On October 11, Friedrich and his family, like all of the remaining Jews, were forced into the ghetto that had been established that day. All individuals had to relocate before six o’clock that night, and any Jew who was caught outside the ghetto would be shot. Friedrich’s family was only allowed to take what they could carry, and they had to turn over the keys to their home to the authorities.

    Friedrich and his family were soon deported east to Romanian-controlled Transnistria, and were sent to a ghetto in Moghilev (also called Moghilev-Podolsk, now Mohyliv-Podil’s’kyi Ukraine). Due to overcrowding, malnutrition, and poor sanitation, typhus and typhoid epidemics became common in the ghetto after 1941. Bernard contracted typhus and died in 1943, Friedrich, Ignatz, and Adolph each became sick as well, but recovered. During their time in Moghilev, Lotte worked as a cook and Ignatz found work in the Jagendorf Foundry as a driver. The foundry was originally established in the fall of 1941 by a Jewish engineer, Siegfried Jagendorf, to repair the city’s electrical grid. The Jewish workers quickly accomplished their task, and work at the facility expanded, allowing more Jews to acquire jobs. Following Ignatz, Friedrich found work in the foundry pouring molten metal into molds and then became an assistant lathe operator. He was later promoted to primary lathe operator, making parts for tractors and agricultural equipment. By December 1942, the foundry employed 700 Jews working in three shifts. Jews who worked in the foundry received a meal and, along with their families, received some protection from the Romanian and Nazi authorities.

    The Soviet army liberated Moghilev on March 20, 1944. Before the Soviets arrived, Ignatz had left with a manager from the foundry and went back to Romania to find maternal relatives still living in a Jewish community in the city of Roman. After liberation, Friedrich accompanied a Soviet convoy to Chernowitz. There he found work as a mechanic and later worked in an alcohol factory. Eventually, Adolph and their mother, Lotte, also returned, and joined Ignatz in Roman. After about a year, Friedrich traveled there as well, and, with the exception of Friedrich’s brother Norbert, the family reunited. After escaping Cernauti with the Soviets, Norbert joined the Soviet army. He became a paratrooper, and was killed in combat in 1944, fighting in Leningrad. Together again, the remaining family members returned to Roman and lived there for several months.

    After the war ended in May 1945, they made their way to the Gnadenwald Displaced Persons camp in the Tyrol Mountains of Austria. This was a stopping point on the Bricha (also called Beriha or Brihah) route from Austria to Italy, so Friedrich, Ignatz, and Adolph worked as guides, bringing Holocaust survivors from Innsbruck to Italy. Their efforts were part of the Aliya Bet, the clandestine immigration of Jews to Palestine in defiance of British laws to restrict entry to Palestine. In 1948, the family immigrated to Israel, and in 1961, Friedrich came to the United States where he lived with his wife.

    Physical Details

    1 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

    Corporate Name
    Beriḥah (Organization)

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2019 by Friedrich Haas.
    Record last modified:
    2024-04-01 11:42:49
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