Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

Hand stamp, European Executive Council of the American Joint Distribution Committee, used by a council member

Object | Accession Number: 2013.303.2

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Hand stamp, European Executive Council of the American Joint Distribution Committee, used by a council member

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Rubber hand stamp used by Gaston Kahn in Paris, France, from 1945 to 1946, when he served on the European Executive Council of the American Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC.) From 1936, Gaston was the Director of the Comite d'Assistance Aux Refugies (CAR), an affiliate of the AJDC. In 1939, he assisted the refugees from the Ms. St. Louis, after its forced return from Cuba. After Germany invaded France in May 1940, Gaston, his wife Jeanne, Danny-Claude, age 14, and Marcel-Francis, age 10, fled Paris for Limoges. In November 1941, Gaston was asked by a Vichy official to direct the Union Generale Des Israelites De France (UGIF), a Jewish aid organization pressured to collaborate with French and German authorities. In November 1942, the Germans occupied southeastern France and efforts to deport Jews to concentration camps intensified. Gaston moved his family to Gap, which was under Italian administration. In August 1943, Gaston was made director of UGIF South, after the previous director Lambert and his family were sent to Auschwitz. Kahn was forced to make difficult decisions about collaboration versus resistance towards the Germans. He sent his family to Chauffayer en Champsaur, a resistance stronghold and moved to Marseille. In December 1943, he learned that the Gestapo planned to arrest him and fled, joining his family in Champsaur. Gaston and Marcel-Francis both became active in the resistance. Allied Forces landed in Normandy in June 1944 and the region here the Kahn's were living was liberated that August. The war in Europe ended when Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945. The Kahn family returned to Paris and Gaston continued his aid work. Gaston was awarded the Medal of the Resistance in 1946 and the Legion of Honor in 1962.
    Date
    use:  1945-1946
    Geography
    use: Paris (France)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Dr. Marcel-Francis Kahn
    Markings
    stamp die, border, embossed : AMERICAN JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE *
    stamp die, center, embossed : EUROPEAN / EXECUTIVE / COUNCIL
    Contributor
    Subject: Gaston Kahn
    Subject: Marcel-Francis Kahn
    Issuer: European Executive Council, American Joint Distribution Committee
    Biography
    Gaston Kahn was born on April 15, 1889, in Wingersheim, France, to Aron and Melanie Klein Kahn. He married Jeanne Meyer, born January 12, 1901, also in Alsace. Jeanne’s family made their fortune from silver mines in Mexico. Gaston received a scholarship for rabbinical studies in Paris, but instead studied literature at the Sorbonne. He served in the French Army from 1917 to 1919, which included World War I (1914-1918). The couple lived in Paris. They had a daughter, Danny-Claude, on October 25, 1925, and a son, Marcel-Francis, on November 1, 1929. The children were given private religious instruction from a young age.
    In 1936, Gaston was Director of the Comité d'Assistance Aux Réfugiés (CAR) [Committee of Assistance to Refugees], an affiliate of the American Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) in Paris. The organization was founded in 1934 to provide aid to Jewish refugees escaping German oppression. It provided legal advice to help Jewish refugees stay in France and attempted to find permanent homes. In June 1939, Gaston assisted refugees from the MS St. Louis, during the voyage on which the ship, which carried over 900 Jewish refugees, was turned away from Cuba and the United States and forced to return to Europe.
    On May 10, 1940, Germany invaded France. Gaston’s father-in-law, Leo Meyer, arranged for the family to flee to Limoges before the Germans reached Paris. The northern and western regions of France were placed under the control of a German military administration, while the southern region was governed by the French Vichy regime, which collaborated with the Germans. On November 29, 1941, the Union Generale Des Israelites De France (UGIF) was formed by the Vichy regime, in response to German demands to consolidate all Jewish organizations. Gaston was selected to be involved and reluctantly agreed. The family moved to Marseille, where Gaston served as director of UGIF’s fifth department. Gaston also engaged in resistance activity, including the forgery of identity papers, from 1942 to 1943. In November 1942, Germany occupied Vichy France. In 1943, Jeanne sent Marcel-Francis to Gap to get false identity papers for Gaston. Gaston and Jeanne obtained false identity cards under the names Pierre and Jeanette Kervol. In March 1943, the family moved to Gap, which was in the Italian occupied region. Gaston’s resistance activity now focused on hiding children or getting them to Switzerland. In August 1943, Gaston became Director of UGIF South. Earlier that month, the previous director was arrested by the Germans, held in Drancy internment camp, and then deported to Auschwitz concentration camp. Gaston was forced to make difficult decisions and to collaborate with the Germans. On October 20, the Gestapo took several mothers and children from a UGIF center and deported them. Gaston was warned of this in advance, but the Gestapo had threatened to round up every Jew in Marseille if he did anything to prevent the deportation. Later that month, Gaston and his family were issued an unauthorized Salvadoran citizenship certificate by George Mandel-Mantello, First Secretary of the Salvadoran Consulate in Switzerland, possibly with the hope of saving the family if they were arrested. The family separated in October, as Gap was no longer safe following the German occupation of Italy and Italian held areas in France in September 1943. Gaston moved to Marseille, while Jeanne and the children moved to Chauffayer en Champsaur, where many members of the resistance resided. In December, the local Gestapo chief, SS Bauer, became aware of Gaston’s resistance activities and planned to arrest him. Gaston was warned of the threat and escaped, joining his family in Chauffayer en Champsaur. In 1944, Gaston participated in fighting with the resistance. Marcel-Francis served as a scout for the resistance in combat along the Napoleon Road in August 1944. That same month, the region was liberated by American troops. The war in Europe ended when Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945.
    After the war, the family returned to Paris. Gaston continued his aid work with the American Joint Distribution Committee and served on the European Executive Council. On November 20, 1946, he was awarded the Medal of Resistance. In 1962, he received the Legion d’Honneur. Gaston died in 1969. Marcel-Francis became a doctor, professor of medicine, and political activist. He married Regina Cukier, a Holocaust survivor from Warsaw, who passed away in 1974.
    Marcel-Francis Kahn was born on November 1, 1929, in Paris, France, to Gaston and Jeanne Meyer Kahn. He had a sister, Danny-Claude, born on October 25, 1925. Gaston was born on April 15, 1889, and Jeanne on January 12, 1901, both in Alsace, France. His mother's family was wealthy due to ownership of silver mines in Mexico. The children were given private religious instruction from a rabbi, but Marcel-Francis knew from a young age that religious study did not interest him and he did not wish to continue. His father was Director of the Comité d'Assistance Aux Réfugiés (CAR) [Committee of Assistance to Refugees], an affiliate of the American Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) in Paris, an organization founded in 1934 to provide aid to Jewish refugees from German oppression.

    On May 10, 1940, Germany invaded France. Marcel-Francis’s maternal grandfather, Leo Meyer, arranged for the family to flee to Limoges before the Germans reached Paris. Marcel-Francis celebrated his bar mitzvah in Limoges. The northern and western regions of France were under the control of a German military administration, while the southern region was governed by the French Vichy Regime, which collaborated with the Germans. In 1941, Gaston was asked to work for the Union Generale Des Israelites De France (UGIF) and reluctantly agreed. The Union was formed by the Vichy regime at the request of the Germans to consolidate Jewish organizations. The family moved to Marseille, where Gaston served as director of UGIF’s fifth department. Gaston was also involved with resistance activity. In November 1942, German troops occupied Vichy France. In 1943, Jeanne sent Marcel-Francis to Gap to get false identity papers for Gaston. Gaston and Jeanne got false identity cards under the names Pierre and Jeanette Kervol. In March 1943, the family moved to Gap, which was in the Italian occupied region. In October, the family split up, as Gap was no longer safe following the German occupation of Italy in September 1943. Marcel-Francis, Jeanne, and Danny-Claude moved to Chauffayer en Champsaur, while Gaston moved to Marseille. In December, Gaston narrowly avoided arrest by the Gestapo and joined the family in Chauffayer en Champsaur. While in Chauffayer, Marcel-Francis had to change school several times. There were two competing resistance groups in the town: the Communists and the Gaullists. Marcel-Francis was considered neutral by both resistance groups. In August 1944, he was a scout for the resistance during combat on the Napoleon Road in the Alps. That month, the region was liberated by American troops. The war in Europe ended when Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945.

    After the war, the family returned to Paris. Gaston continued his aid work with the American Joint Distribution Committee and served on the European Executive Council. Gaston died in 1969. Marcel-Francis became a doctor, professor of medicine, and political activist. He married Regina Cukier, a Holocaust survivor from Warsaw. Regina died in 1974.

    Physical Details

    Language
    English
    Category
    Marking devices
    Object Type
    Rubber stamps (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Worn, circular rubber stamp die attached to a light brown, turned, finished, wooden handle. The wide, flat topped bulbous handle narrows and bulges into 2 banded sections until narrowing to be inserted into the neck of a circular, silver colored, metal mount. The stamp die is adhered to the mount bottom and has raised English text in 2 bands around the border.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 2.750 inches (6.985 cm) | Width: 1.750 inches (4.445 cm) | Depth: 1.750 inches (4.445 cm)
    Materials
    overall : wood, metal, rubber, adhesive, varnish

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The rubber hand stamp was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by Marcel-Francis Kahn, the son of Gaston Kahn.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-08-15 08:57:56
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn85875

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us