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Ammy and Nico Herschel collection

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.595.2

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    The Ammy and Nico Herschel collection consists of correspondence, personal papers, biographical materials, newspapers, speeches, programs, and ephemera relating to the pre-war and wartime experiences of Ammy Herschel (née Weyel/Weijel) and Nice Herschel of the Netherlands.

    The biographical materials includes the diaries of Nico Herschel written in the Netherlands from July 1, 1933 to September 7, 1942; Nico Herschel’s school diplomas and report cards, 1927-1928; 1931-1937; Nico Herschel’s ID card for hiking organization, 1935; and Ammy Weyel’s Zionist membership card, September 1940. The Herschel family papers also include documents that were sent into hiding with Tswi Herschel. These documents were buried by the de Jongh family for safekeeping, and were returned to Tswi after the war.

    The correspondence series contains Herschel family correspondence; telegrams sent to Ammy and Nico Herschel following their wedding in 1942; postcards sent by Herman Herschel from Westerbork camp and Dalfsen labor camp; and business correspondence.

    Manuscripts of speeches given by Nico Herschel; handwritten Hebrew lessons; programs, 1935-1937; wedding invitations and table place cards, 1942; the newsletter Joodse Jeugdfederatie, 1940-1941; De Joodsche Wachter, 1940; and an illustrated life calendar created by Nico Herschel for his son Tswi Josef Herschel, 1942 are also included in the collection.
    inclusive:  1927-1942
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Tswi Herschel
    Collection Creator
    Herschel family
    Nico Louis Herschel (1915-1943) was born on September 20, 1915 to Herman Herschel (January 14, 1887-October 4, 1942) and Rebekka Herschel (Rebecca née Reindorp) in Zwolle, Netherlands. Ammy Weyel (also known as Malchen Weijel) was born on April 3, 1919 to Bernard Weijel and Rebekka Weijel (née Valk) in Zwolle, Netherlands. On March 29, 1942 Nico Louis Herschel married Ammy Weyel. Nico was a Zionist and worked as an economist and a teacher in a Jewish Gymnasium in Enschede. Ammy worked as telephone operator. Seven months after their wedding, the couple was ordered to move into the Hollandsche Schouwburg in Amsterdam, a former Jewish theater where Jews were held prior to their deportation to the Westerbork camp. Ammy was seven months pregnant. The Herschels received permission to leave the theater and they traveled to Zwolle. On December 29, 1942, their son Tswi Josef Herschel was born. In January 1943, the family was ordered to return to the Hollandsche Schouwburg. Nico contacted Mrs. Schwencke, the wife of his former employer, and her daughter Christine, and asked them to hide the infant. They agreed. In April 1943, Tswi Herschel was sent into hiding along with important Herschel family papers. Aged three months, Tswi was sent to live with the de Jongh family, a non-Jewish family, in Ooosterbeek. Willem de Jongh was the head of the resistance movement and his house was the last safe house north of the Rhine River. Willem’s daughter, Wies de Jongh Spyker was recently married and treated Tswi like her own son, referring to him as Henkie de Jongh. In September 1944, the de Jongh house was bombed during the battle of El Alamein. The family escaped serious injury by hiding in the basement. They later moved to either Utrecht or Spakenburg. In May 1945, Rebecca Hershel, Tswi's paternal grandmother located him and took him to live with his aunt Bella Davidson, Nico Hershel’s sister. Bella’s husband, Aron Leonard Davidson (1914-1943) died at Sobibor on July 13, 1943. She later married Philip de Leeuwe. Sources vary regarding if Tswi was raised by his grandmother, Rebecca Hershel, or his aunt Bella. At the age of eight, Tswi discovered the truth regarding the fate of his parents. Until this time he had assumed the de Jongh family were his true parents and that he was forcibly removed from them. Tswi was raised Jewish and studied optometry and mechanical engineering. He was married in 1965 and had two daughters. In 1986 he and his family immigrated to Israel.

    On October 4, 1942, Herman Herschel, Nico Herschel’s father, perished at Auschwitz concentration camp. In June 1943 Nico and Ammy were deported to the Westerbork camp. On either July 23, 1943 or July 27, 1943 Nico and Ammy Herschel perished at the Sobibor concentration camp.

    Physical Details

    1 box
    2 oversize folders
    System of Arrangement
    The Ammy and Nico Herschel collection is arranged in six series.

    Series 1: Biographical materials, 1927-1937
    Series 2: Correspondence, 1940-1942
    Series 3: Manuscripts, 1933-1940, undated
    Series 4: Printed materials, 1940-1941
    Series 5: Ephemera, circa 1940s
    Series 6: Artwork, 1942

    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

    Tswi J. Herschel donated the Ammy and Nico Herschel collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Each donation was assigned its own accession number: 2004.595.1, 2007.439.1, 2008.326.1, 2010.493.1.
    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:
    2024-04-10 13:47:20
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