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Elfriede Toch collection

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2016.243.3

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    Elfriede Toch collection

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    Photographs, immigration documents, family tree, and other materials related to the childhood and emigration from Nazi-occupied Austria in June 1939 of Elfriede Toch, who was one of the "50 children" selected and sponsored by Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus of Philadelphia. The collection includes family photographs from the period of her childhood in Austria; immigration and naturalization documents, including her German passport and American immigration documents; and her autograph book, containing inscriptions and autographs from friends and family members in Austria, 1936-1939, and other emigre friends in Los Angeles after that. The collection also includes post-immigration family photographs; a family tree compiled by Toch's older daughter, Carolyn, for a school project in 1966; digital images of Toch’s younger daughter Cynthia, Elfriede with her parent’s immigration sponsor Mrs. Yumpolsky, and John and Adele Toch; and a United States one-dollar bill, representing the first dollar earned by the Toch's when they opened their new business in Los Angeles following immigration.
    inclusive:  1925-1968
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Cynthia Ermert and Carolyn Aarons, 2016.
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Cynthia Ermert, 2019.
    Collection Creator
    Elfriede Toch
    Elfriede Toch Lawson (1925-2010) was born 30 September 1925 in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of Hans (John) and Adele Toch. The Tochs owned a butcher shop specializing in venison and game, and had one other child, a son named Paul (b. 1922). Following the German annexation of Austria in 1938, the Tochs lost their business, and after Kristallnacht, Hans was arrested, and when he returned to his family after having been tortured, he was determined to emigrate. In 1939, Elfriede's family learned about the efforts of an American couple, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, to select and sponsor fifty Jewish children for immigration to the United States, and determined to enroll their children. Paul was older than the cut-off age, but Elfriede was accepted and joined the group that traveled with the Krauses to Philadelphia in June 1939. Eventually, the remainder of her family, who had been sponsored by Mrs. Yumpolsky from Los Angeles, were also able to immigrate to the United States, reuniting with Elfriede in the fall of 1939, and settling in Los Angeles. The Tochs started a new business there, a restaurant and catering business. Elfriede graduated from Fairfax High School in 1944, and married Martin Lawson in 1947. The couple, who remained in Los Angeles, had two children, Carolyn and Cindy. Elfriede died in Carlsbad, California on 29 March 2010.

    Physical Details

    English German
    5 : TIFF.
    1 box
    1 oversize folder
    2 oversize boxes
    2 book enclosures
    System of Arrangement
    The Elfriede Toch collection is arranged as a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Copyright to unpublished writings created by Elfriede Toch Lawson are held by Cynthia Ermert. Other material 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

    Cindy Ermert and Carolyn Aarons, the daughters of Elfriede Toch Lawson, donated the Elfriede Toch collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 and 2019. Accessions 2016.243.1 and 2019.441.1 have been incorporated into this collection.
    Primary Number
    Record last modified:
    2023-03-30 15:17:04
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