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Ava Schonberg photographs

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2013.485.1

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    Consists of twelve original photographs and five copies of photographs of Ava Schonberg, her mother Roza, and sisters Celine and Alice, while they were living in wartime Switzerland and in post-war Belgium. Includes photographs of large school gatherings, of Ava alone and with friends, and of the post-war Tiefenbrunner children's home in Antwerp.
    inclusive:  1944-1953
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ava Schonberg
    Collection Creator
    Ava Schonberg
    Ava Schonberg was born in Antwerp, Belgium, on January 18, 1937 to David and Roza Elowicz Schonberg, both of whom were originally from Poland. The family included three daughters: Celine (b. 1935), Ava, and Alice (b. 1941). David worked as a diamond cutter. In 1942, David was arrested and sent first to Malines, and then to Auschwitz on Convoy IX, where he was killed. After his arrest, Rosa and her daughters went into hiding. Ava at first stayed with a Jewish family then spent a year hiding in the attic of a seamstress, Madame Louise, in Brussels. Later, Madame Louise took both Celine and Ava to the convent Notre Dame de Sept Douleurs in Wezenbeek, posing as their mother. The sisters were among the 18 Jewish children hidden by the mother superior of the convent. Roza was able to visit them several times. The nuns of the convent were later recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations. In 1944, Roza arranged for the Belgian underground to smuggle the family into Switzerland. En route, Celine contracted the measles and Roza needed to stay with her. Ava proceeded alone to Switzerland with Alice, where they were placed in the Girenbad refugee camp near Zurich. Two weeks later, Roza and Celine arrived. Roza and Alice were placed in the Morgins refugee camp while Celine and Ava were placed with foster families. After the war, Roza and her daughters returned to Belgium, where Ava and Celine stayed in the Tiefenbrunner children's home for three years. In 1948, they began to live with Roza again, attending the Orthodox Beit Yaakov school. In 1949, Roza married Rabbi Haskel Dovid Halberstam, who had lost his wife and children in the Holocaust. Halberstam adopted Roza’s daughters, and the family immigrated to the United States in 1953.

    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

    Geographic Name
    Antwerp (Belgium)

    Administrative Notes

    Dr. Ava Schonberg donated these photographs to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2014.
    Record last modified:
    2023-04-21 13:32:41
    This page:

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