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Deligdisch family collection

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2014.437.1

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    Consists of six photographs of the Deligdisch family, originally of Cernauti, Romania (present day Chernivtsi, Ukraine). Includes a photograph of Siegfried Deligdisch in a Romanian reserve military uniform; photographs of his son, Otto Deligdisch, as a young teenager; and post-war photographs of Greta Deligdisch Beer with her husband, Simon Beer, in Italy. Also includes a letter, three pages, dated May 2, 2013, from Stuart Eizenstat to Greta Beer, expressing his deep appreciation for the pivotal role she played in alerting the United States government to the issue of Jewish-owned Swiss bank accounts.
    inclusive:  1935-1950
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Greta Georgia Beer
    Collection Creator
    Greta Beer
    Greta Beer was born in 1921 in Cernauti, Romania, the daughter of Siegfried and Rachelle (née Gutter) Deligdisch. She had one brother, Otto. Siegfried had trained as a pharmacist, but became an industrialist and the owner of Hercules, the largest textile mill in Romania. The family was very wealthy, and Greta studied first at a Romanian lyceum and then at a then finishing school in Switzerland. The family frequently spent summers in Grato, Italy. In 1938 Greta became ill and went to a sanatorium in Austria to recover; she was in Austria when it was annexed by Germany, and her cousins gave her a Romanian flag pin to put on her lapel to protect her and allow her to leave the country. She returned home to discover that the Iron Guard was already assuming more power. The following year, Greta’s father Siegfried became quite ill with kidney disease. As it no longer was feasible to seek medical help in Austria, he went to Budapest for treatment. Greta and her mother joined him there, but Siegfried succumbed to his illness and died in 1940. Before he died he reassured his wife that she need not worry about finances because he had left his assets in Swiss banks. Greta and her mother flew back to Romania, reunited with Otto and spent the next eight months in Bucharest. To escape antisemitic incidents in the capital, they then moved to Brasov, a smaller city in the mountains where they felt safer. They lived with the family of Colonial Muck, a family friend and Romanian, ethnic German Christian. Though the Deligdisch family paid rent, the Muck family helped them in many ways, and the two families stayed very close. Otto had to perform forced labor but his work conditions were not as bad as elsewhere. Greta was not allowed to attend school, but she studied privately and attended social events. In 1944 Soviet troops liberated Romania. Greta and her family moved to a smaller town and then returned to Bucharest. There, Greta met Dr. Simon Beer, a physician who had survived the war in an internment camp in Italy. The two became engaged at the same time that the Communists tightened their rule in Romania. Simon escaped to Hungary and told Greta to follow him. In 1947, she joined him illegally in Hungary. After two months she moved on to Austria where her brother was already living, and Simon joined her there. They lived in the displaced persons center at the Rothschild Hospital and married in a civil ceremony. From Vienna, they moved to Italy before immigrating to the United States in 1951. Though Greta, her mother and brother survived the Holocaust, they lost many relatives and all of her family’s assets. Convinced that the family’s fortune was still held by Swiss banks, Greta set about trying to locate her father’s missing account. In 1996 she testified before the Senate Banking Committee, thereby becoming a prominent survivor voice during the Swiss banking controversy. Though the Swiss banks agreed to return Jewish assets, Greta was never able to locate an account for her family.

    Physical Details

    Photographs. Letter.
    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
    Chernivt︠s︡i (Ukraine)

    Administrative Notes

    Greta Georgia Beer donated this collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2014.
    Record last modified:
    2023-07-05 13:50:43
    This page:

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