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Dina Pollak Gabos photographs

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2012.470.1

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    Five studio photographs depicting siblings of Rifka Musafia Pollak; Efraim, Solci, Rahela and Menashe.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Dina Pollak Gabos
    Collection Creator
    Dina Gabos
    Dina Pollak was born on January 11, 1938, in Zagreb, Yugoslavia [Croatia], to Otto and Rifka Musafia Pollak. Otto was born on January 21, 1899, in Zagreb, to Samuel and Johanna Schneid Pollak. Rifka was born on December 1, 1906, in Bijeljina, Yugoslavia, to Meir and Sara Elazar Musafia. Rifka had eight siblings: Blanka, Isak, Rachela, Johanna, Solci, Efraim, Menashem, and Salamon. Otto was a lawyer and an active Zionist. Rifka was a language teacher and seamstress. The family was Jewish and lived in Zagreb.

    On April 6, 1941, the Axis powers, Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria invaded Yugoslavia and divided it amongst themselves. The Pollak and Musafia families lived in the newly created Independent State of Croatia, controlled by the Ustasa government, which enacted policies to persecute Jews and terrorized the country with the mass slaughter and expulsion of the Serbs. On April 28, 1941, Otto was arrested in Zagreb by the Ustasa police and sent to Kerestinec concentration camp. In June 1941, he was sent back to Zagreb and confined there. Rifka and Dina were in Split at the time. The Ustasa regime issued a travel permit for Rifka and her child, valid for travel from Split to Zagreb from July 4, 1941 to August 4, 1941. In October, Otto, Rifka, and Dina fled Zagreb for Italian occupied Ljubljana, Yugoslavia [Slovenia]. They lived in hiding from October until December 1941, when they escaped to Italy. From January 1942 until September 1943, they lived as confined refugees in Valdobiaddene, Treviso Province. In July 1943, the Allies landed in Sicily and Mussolini was deposed. On September 3, the Italian government reached an armistice with the Allies. The Pollak family obtained false papers and made their way to southern Italy as Ottone, Ria, and Dina Pollan, hiding from the occupying German troops. The region they were living in liberated in July 1944, as Allied forces advanced north of Rome. After liberation, they lived in Bari, Italy, in the Santa Croce displaced persons camp.

    On April 11, 1950, the family boarded the US Navy ship General J H McRae in Bremerhaven, Germany. They arrived in New York on April 24, 1950, and settled in New York City. They learned that Rifka’s mother and siblings were all killed during the war. Rachela and her husband Salamon Alkalaj were deported from Bijeljina and killed in 1941. Their son, Mosho, was shot in Bijeljina for fighting Nazis. Sara and Johanna were sent to Djakovo concentration camp, where Sara was killed and Johanna died of typhus in 1942. Johanna’s husband, Menachem Albahari, had been killed in Jadovno concentration camp in 1941. Solci was deported from Brno, in German occupied Czechoslovakia and killed in Treblinka. Solci's husband Hugo Pollak was killed in Brno. Rifka’s remaining siblings and their families were all deported and killed. Rifka and Otto became naturalized American citizens on June 13, 1955, and Dina did also on February 27, 1956, shortly after her eighteenth birthday. Dina became an artist and married Andre Gabos. Otto, age 83, died on January 22, 1982. Rifka, age 87, died on August 11, 1994.

    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.

    Administrative Notes

    The papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2012 by Dina Pollak Gabos, the daughter of Rifka Musafia Pollak.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 13:42:27
    This page:

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