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Blue and silver HIAS badge acquired by a Polish Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2013.467.2

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    Brief Narrative
    HIAS pin acquired by Pinchas Hendel when he left for the US after the war with the aid of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. On September 14, 1939, German troops occupied Hrubieszow, Poland, where Pinchas lived, along with his parents Aron and Rachel, his brother Izak, and his sister Keile Taube, with her husband and children. The Germans handed it over to Soviet forces on September 17 to comply with the German-Soviet Pact in which they divided Poland. The Germans reoccupied Hrubieszow on October 3 when the partition line was changed to the Bug River. As the Soviets retreated, many residents, especially young Jewish men, fled eastward to Soviet occupied territory. Pinchas went to Wlodzimierz Wolynski in eastern Poland. He remained in Soviet occupied territory for the duration of the war. After the war ended in May 1945, Pinchas lived in several displaced persons camps in Germany. He married Christina Knies in September 1949 and they left for the US in 1950. Most of Pinchas’s family was killed during the Holocaust.
    received:  after 1947-before 1950 December
    received: Bremen (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Zina Hendel Wexler DiLorenzo
    front, embossed : HIAS / BREMEN / 1947 / חאיאם [HIAS]
    back, embossed, inside circle : F. / W. / S.
    Subject: Paul Hendel
    Issuer: Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
    Pinchas Hendel was born on July 1, 1914, in Hrubieszow, Poland, to a Jewish couple, Moshe Aron (Nuchim Moszko Aron) and Soshe Rachel (Sosia Ruchla, Jente) Finger Hendel. He had three siblings: Joseph, Izak, and Keile Taube. Pinchas’s paternal family was most likely Russian and his grandmother lived in Krasnograd (later Krasnohrad, Ukraine). His mother Soshe Rachel was born to Szaja and Jenta (Sara Rifka) Rauch Finger. She had a sister, Mania, and a brother, Leib, born on December 25, 1882, in Hrubieszow. Pinchas’s brother Joseph emigrated to New York circa 1920. His sister Keile Taube married Israel Blander and had two children, Jentle and Basha.

    Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. German troops occupied Hrubieszow, located just west of the Bug River, on September 14. They handed it over to Soviet forces on September 17 to comply with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, an agreement signed August 23, 1939, in which Germany and the Soviet Union divided Poland. Germany claimed all territory west of the Vistula River, which was west of Hrubieszow in central Poland. On September 29, the dividing line was changed and Germany was given all territory west of the Bug River. The Germans reoccupied Hrubieszow on October 3. As the Soviets retreated, many young Jewish men fled eastward to Soviet occupied territory. Pinchas went to Wlodzimierz Wolynski (Volodymyr-Volynskyi, Ukraine) in eastern Poland. In 1940, Pinchas was in territory occupied by the Soviet Union. On June 22, 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union and occupied eastern Poland. Germany surrendered to the Allied nations on May 7, 1945, and to the Soviet Union on May 9.

    From August 1945 to April 1946, Pinchas was in Glatz, Poland. In May, he went to Ebensee, Austria. Pinchas’s maternal uncle Leib also had survived the war in the Soviet Union. On August 28, 1946, Pinchas and Leib were in Heilbronn displaced persons camp in Germany. In November, Pinchas and Leib moved to Hasenhecke dp camp in Kassel, Germany. Pinchas corresponded with his brother Joseph, who lived in Brooklyn. Pinchas later lived in Ulm dp camp, then Wasseralfingen dp camp. He worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration [UNRRA.] On September 29, 1949, Pinchas married Karrin (Christina) Knies (1927-2006), who was born in Worms, Germany, to Johannes and Anna Kuhling Knies. In October 1949, Pinchas’s uncle Leib left for New York. On December 1, 1950, Pinchas and Christina sailed from Bremerhaven on the USNS General M.B. Stewart, arriving in New York on December 12. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society [HIAS] sponsored their emigration. They settled in Brooklyn and lived with Leib. They became naturalized American citizens in 1956 and changed their first names to Paul and Karen. They had a daughter. Most of Pinchas’s family perished in the Holocaust, including his parents, his brother Izak, his brother-in-law Israel, and his nieces Jentle and Basha. Leib’s wife, Mala, and children, Szlama and Rachela, were killed in 1942. Paul’s uncle Leib, age 83, died in May 1966. Paul, age 92, died on March 19, 2007.
    HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, was founded in the 1881 in the Lower East Side of New York City. Their original mission was to rescue Jews in Eastern Europe and Russia who were being persecuted and murdered in pogroms. They provided the recent refugees with meals and shelter, and helped them find jobs. In 1904, HIAS set up an office on Ellis Island and expanded their aid services to new arrivals, guiding them through the immigration process, preventing deportations, and searching for relatives. The organization expanded during the interwar years to ensure that Jewish refugees could find welcome and safety in their new countries. HIAS helped form HICEM, a joint bureau of three aid agencies established in Paris to centralize eastern European immigration. By the 1930s, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) provided most of the money and HIAS provided the majority of the staff members. After the occupation of France by Nazi Germany in June 1940, the office moved to Marseille and an office was opened in Lisbon, Portugal. HIAS continued to assist refugees in America during World War II (1939-1945), but the restrictive immigration policies of the US government severely limited new arrivals. After the war ended in May 1945, HIAS was instrumental in the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of displaced persons to communities in the US and around the world. In this century, their mission was expanded to aid non-Jewish persons. HIAS continues to work on the front lines, assisting refugees no matter where they are.

    Physical Details

    English Hebrew
    Identifying Artifacts
    Physical Description
    Circular, silver colored metal pin with raised silver text around a central circle with a raised border on a blue painted field. On the back is a C clasp with a straight pin and a maker's mark.
    overall: | Depth: 0.250 inches (0.635 cm) | Diameter: 1.375 inches (3.493 cm)
    overall : metal, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The pin was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by Zina Hendel Wexler DiLorenzo, the niece of Paul Hendel.
    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:
    2024-02-21 07:11:17
    This page:

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