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Samuel Zisman papers

Document | Accession Number: 1996.A.0581.1

The Samuel Zisman papers consist of biographical materials, team records, drawings and maps, memoranda and reports, personal correspondence, photographs, and printed materials documenting Samuel Zisman’s service as United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) director of District 5 in Bavaria from 1945-1947 and the administration of displaced persons camps in that district.
Biographical materials consist of Samuel Zisman’s international certificate of inoculation and vaccination, chest x-ray, and permit to cross the Soviet zone of occupation as well as Paul Spreiregen’s career chronology and biographical sketch of Zisman and provenance statement about the custodial history of the Zisman papers.
UNRRA team records include memoranda, notes, and reports documenting UNRRA’s efforts to secure adequate facilities and supplies for displaced persons; team organization and staff responsibilities; notable events and crises within the camps; relationships among groups of displaced persons, UNRRA personnel, the local German population, and the military government; camp conditions; health, nutrition, and sanitation; and repatriation. Many files also include organizational charts, drawings, and maps. A few files also include photographs.
Drawings and maps consist of renderings of barracks and an UNRRA reception center; maps of District 5 zones, requisitioned housing in Munich, and the area of Traunstein/Laufen/Berchtesgaden; and illustrated Christmas greetings to Zisman from UNRRA personnel.
Memoranda and reports document communications among UNRRA offices, the American Joint Distribution Committee, Central Committee of Liberated Jews in the American Occupied Zone in Germany, International Relief Organization, Jewish Council, and U.S. Army offices on topics such as displaced persons, “Jewish infiltrees” (non-German Jews smuggled into the American occupation zone of Germany), statistical information about Jewish populations in the American zone, and problems of Jewish displaced persons. These files also document facilities, supplies, staffing, events, and conditions in displaced person camps as well as efforts to repatriate displaced persons. This series further includes a “Berlin log” documenting Zisman’s Berlin visit in April 1947, a series of vignettes using imaginary conversation to illustrate DP problems, an invitation to the opening ceremony of the UNRRA University for Displaced Persons, and a program from an ORT exhibition.
Personal correspondence consists of personal correspondence to Zisman from UNRRA colleagues in Europe and from friends and acquaintances in the United States sharing personal news, asking for help, and giving thanks. Frequent topics include the transfer of UNRRA duties to the International Relief Organization (IRO) and the death of IRO team director Harold Rosenblatt.
Photographic materials include photographs from two dismantled photograph albums and loose photographs documenting Samuel Zisman and his UNRRA service in Germany. Photographs depict Zisman, UNRRA personnel, UNRRA staff meetings and social events, displaced persons, children, weddings, DP camps, visiting officials, train stations and trains repatriating survivors or relocating them to their new homes, and bombed out buildings. Most of the photographs are not labeled, but a few photographs of camps at Dorfen, Hochland, Feldafing, Geretsried, Altenstadt, Föhrenwald, and Sonthofen are identified. This series also includes a photograph of Zisman at his post-UNRRA position helping Dr. Taylor Cole interview candidates for the Civil Administration Division’s “Democracy Workshop” program. Some photograph album pages appear to be missing or to have been skipped.
Printed materials consist of articles about refugee children published in L’Aube, clippings about displaced persons and post-war Germany, 1946 issues of D.P. Express and UNRRA Team News, a copy of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force’s Guide to the Care of Displaced Persons in Germany, and a copy of a brochure, An UNRRA Assembly Center: Esslingen o/ Neckar.

inclusive:  1944-1996
bulk:  1945-1947
7 boxes
4 oversize folders
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Paul D. Spreiregen
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 19:54:57
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