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"Eric Hoffman: For My Family, For My Children, For My Grandchildren"

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2014.289.1

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    Consists of one typed memoir, circa 40 pages plus photographs, photocopied, and written in the spring of 1996 by Eric Hoffman, entitled "Eric Hoffman: For My Family, For My Children, For My Grandchildren." The memoir details Hoffman's life growing up in Münster, Germany; his move to Antwerp, Belgium; his voyage to Palestine in 1939; his wartime service in the British Royal Army Service Corps and his post-war life. The memoir also includes several personal photographs with, 'The Windmuller Family Chronicle,' which details the fate of 120 members of Eric's close and extended family, as well as copies of several post-war letters and correspondence.
    publication/distribution:  1996
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Susan Brenner.
    Collection Creator
    Eric Hoffman
    Eric Hoffman (1916-1998) was born Erich Siegmund Hoffmann in Wolbeck, Germany, the son of Salomona and Martha Hoffmann. By the time he had finished his schooling in nearby Münster, the Nazis had come to power and soon prohibited Jews from studying at university, so he apprenticed instead in a dry goods store in Vlotho, and later a textile company as well. With the increasing anti-semitism in Germany, his parents persuaded him to move to the Netherlands, and by 1936 he had moved to Zutphen, where he worked at both vegetable and chicken farms, gaining agricultural skills in preparation for a planned immigration to Palestine. Being close to the German border, he periodically returned home, and tried to smuggle out money and other valuables from his family, hidden in his bicycle, and on one of his trips home, he was jailed in Münster during an anti-semitic raid, and held for two weeks before his release. His family sought to immigrate to the United States, and Eric, as the first, left first for Palestine, intending to gather his family there and continue to the United States. He was unsuccessful in doing so, however, as his parents were deported to the Riga Ghetto in 1941, and many of his aunts and uncles were deported in subsequent transports to either Riga or to Theresienstadt, where most of them, including Eric's parents, perished. After arriving in Palestine, Eric enlisted in the British Army, and saw combat in North Africa and Italy during World War II. It was in Italy that he later met his future wife, Nella Della Rocca, in Turin, and the two were married in August 1945. After his discharge and return to Palestine, she joined him there, and they immigrated to the United States in 1947, settling in San Francisco, where Eric opened a dry-goods business, selling work clothes to farm laborers around the region, before moving to San Jose, where he opened a dry goods store in downtown San Jose, before later branching out into commercial real estate. Eric Hoffman died in San Jose, California on 31 January 1998.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Donor retains copyright. The donor does not wish for the memoir to be published.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Hoffman, Eric.
    Corporate Name
    Great Britain. Army

    Administrative Notes

    Susan Brenner donated a copy of her father's memoir to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013.
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-13 09:43:33
    This page:

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