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Gunther and Harry Rice correspondence

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2015.198.1

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    The Gunther and Harry Rice correspondence consists of letters and postcards received by both Gunther Rice and his uncle Harry Rice, from family members living in Germany, Poland, and England. The correspondence mainly documents the efforts in trying to bring family members from Germany to the United States from 1938-1941.

    The correspondence collected by Gunther Rice are from his time living in Otwock, Poland and Cardiff, England, and consists mainly of letters written by his parents (Chiam and Lea Esther) and sister, Betti, while they lived in Zbaszyn and Lwow, Poland (L’viv, Ukraine). They contain family news and document the family’s hardships while living in Poland from 1939 to 1941.

    The correspondence collected by Harry Rice are mainly from his time living in Chicago, Illinois, though there are some letters from friends while he was living in Bolechow, Germany before he emigrated to the United States. Much of the correspondence are from his siblings, Fanny Kauf (nee Fruchter), Lea Esther Zloczower (nee Fruchter), and Nathan Fruchter. The letters from Fanny and Nathan contain mainly family news from Germany from before and after World War II, whereas the letters from Lea Esther primarily concern the emigration of her son, Simon, to the United States. Also in this series are correspondence from Gunther and his siblings. Correspondence from Simon Rice document his journey to the United States, and later his role in the U.S. army, while Gunther’s and Julius’ letters are dated post-World II and update Harry on their lives. Lastly, there are several letters from Hersch Kleinbard, Harry’s cousin, whom he helped to bring over to the United States, as well as additional correspondence from friends wishing him well on his immigration to the United States in 1913.
    inclusive:  1913-1948
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Gunther Rice
    Collection Creator
    Gunther Rice
    Harry Rice
    Gunther Rice was born in Hamburg, Germany, on October 1924 to Chayim (Karl) Zloczower (b. 1878 in Lvov) and Leah Fruchter (b. 1885 in Bolechow). He was the youngest of nine children. Prior to 1908, Karl and Leah, already with two children, left Poland and settled in Hamburg, where Karl worked various jobs to support his family. Gunther attended a school for boys and did not experience a great deal of anti-Semitic persecution during the 1930s, until October 1938. On October 28, 1938, Nazis came to arrest all members of the family over sixteen years old, so Gunther was not arrested, but found his family at the train station and they reunited. Since Chayim and Leah were Polish citizens, the family was deported to Zbaszyn, on the border with Poland, where they remained for nine months. In July 1939, they were allowed to enter Poland and went to Lwow. After a few days, Gunther received word that he was to leave for Warsaw to join a kindertransport. After learning some English with other children at Otwock, they left by ship to England, arriving on August 29, 1939. Gunther was sent to Cardiff to live with his foster family, the Cornes. As he was a teenager, he worked odd jobs and kept in touch with his older brother, Sam, who was living in London. He moved to London in 1941 and eventually began to work in the American Army Officer’ Mess cleaning dishes. In 1944, he began a new job with the railway. When the war ended, Rice moved to the United States. His sisters Cilli and Edith and brother Julius were able to immigrate to Palestine prior to the war. His brother Simon left for the United States in 1937, joined the American Army, and was a translator at the Nuremberg War Crimes trials, while brother Sam survived the war in England and as a member of the British Army. A brother, Edo, was killed in an accident in 1929. Gunther’s parents and sister Betti perished in the Holocaust. After arriving in the United States, Gunther attended Roosevelt College, received his PhD in psychology in 1960, married, and had two children. He now lives in Chicago.
    Lea Esther’s stepbrother Harry Rice (born Herman Reiss) had immigrated to the United States in 1913 and lived in Chicago. In 1918, he married Bessie Itzkovitz. As a naturalized citizen, he was able to obtain affidavits for immigration into the U.S. for Gunther and his older brothers Simon and Julius. Simon arrived in 1938 from Germany, and Julius arrived in 1948 from Israel.

    Physical Details

    1 box
    System of Arrangement
    The Gunther Rice and Harry Rice correspondence is arranged into two series:
    Series 1: Gunther Rice correspondence, 1939-1941
    Series 2: Harry Rice correspondence, 1913-1948
    Series 3: Documents, 1917-1949

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The donor, source institution, or a third party has asserted copyright over some or all of these material(s). The Museum does not own the copyright for the material and does not have authority to authorize use. For permission, please contact the rights holder(s).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Gunther Rice donated the Gunther Rice and Harry Rice correspondence to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives in 2015.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 13:44:09
    This page:

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