Stephan H. Lewy papers
Consists of two pieces of written testimony entitled, "The year 1938....A year in my life I would like to forget," and "Return to Berlin, Germany After 58 Years," both written by Stephan Lewy. "The Year 1938" includes information about acquiring a prayer book and camera, along with images of each item (also part of the donation). Also includes a photograph of boys living in the Auerbach orphanage in Berlin, circa 1905; the train tickets and insurance his father and stepmother purchased to escape from Germany to France in 1939; a 1942 ORT certificate for training undertaken by Stephan in the United States; and materials related to a 1998 OSE reunion.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Stephan H. Lewy
Record last modified: 2021-11-22 15:32:55
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn84550
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Agfa 44 box camera, or Preisbox, given to Heinz Stephan Lewy for his bar mitzvah in March 1938 in Berlin, Germany. He took it with him in July 1939 when he left on a Kindertransport to France. When Hitler came to power in Germany in January 1933, Heinz was in an orphanage in Berlin, because his father Arthur was unable to care for Heinz by himself. In late 1933, Arthur was arrested because he was a Socialist and sent to Oranienburg concentration camp. He was beaten severely and had a heart attack, but was soon released. On March 11, 1938, Heinz became a bar mitzvah. Arthur was arrested for the day, but released that evening. A relative of Johanna Arzt, Arthur's second wife, sent them an affidavit for a US visa, but Arthur failed a health exam and they could not go. Heinz was placed on a Kindertransport that left July 4, 1939, for France where he lived in Quincy-sous-Sear children's home near Paris. Germany invaded France in May 1940, and that fall, Quaker aid workers took the children to Chateau de Chabannes in unoccupied France. Heinz asked the director to look for his parents and learned they were living in the US. His parents obtained a visa, and on June 25, 1942, Heinz arrived in New York. He Americanized his name to Stephan. In August 1943, he was drafted into the US Army, and assigned to the 6th Armored Division as an interpreter. Stephen arrived in France in June 1944, and advanced with his unit into Germany. He participated in the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945. The war ended in May and Stephan returned to the US in the fall.
Prayer book given to Heinz Stephan Lewy for his 14th birthday by his friend Gerhard Rosenzweig (later Gerry Gerhard) when both youths were living in Quincy, France. They had arrived there on July 4, 1939, Kindertransport from Berlin, Germany, organized to save Jewish children from persecution by the Nazi dictatorship. They had previously lived in the Auerbach orphanage in Berlin. After Germany invaded France in May 1940, the boys and the other refugees fled south, but returned to Quincy after encountering German soldiers. In fall 1940, Quaker aid workers took them to Chateau de Chabannes in unoccupied France. Heinz asked the director to look for his parents and learned they were in the US. After an appeal to President Roosevelt, his parents got Heinz a visa. On June 25, 1942, Heinz arrived in New York, and began using the name Stephan. In August 1943, he was drafted into the US Army and assigned to the 6th Armored Division as an interpreter. Stephen arrived in France in June 1944, saw combat in the Battle of the Bulge, and participated in the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945. The war ended in May and Stephan returned to the US in the fall. After his departure from Chabannes children's home in May 1942, Gerhard and the other older children were arrested and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Gerhard was incarcerated in a number of camps, but survived. After the war, Gerhard emigrated to Los Angeles.