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Three Jewish businessmen are paraded down Bruehl Strasse in central Leipzig, carrying signs that read: "Don't buy from Jews; Shop at German stores!"

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 20210

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    Three Jewish businessmen are paraded down Bruehl Strasse in central Leipzig, carrying signs that read: "Don't buy from Jews; Shop at German stores!"
    Three Jewish businessmen are paraded down Bruehl Strasse in central Leipzig, carrying signs that read:  "Don't buy from Jews;  Shop at German stores!" 

The third marcher from the left is Chaim Bleiweiss, the donor's father.  Bleiweiss owned a fur store located at Bruehl Strasse 68.  The photo was produced as a postcard and sold at kiosks in Leipzig, where Chaim Bleiweiss purchased it.

    Overview

    Caption
    Three Jewish businessmen are paraded down Bruehl Strasse in central Leipzig, carrying signs that read: "Don't buy from Jews; Shop at German stores!"

    The third marcher from the left is Chaim Bleiweiss, the donor's father. Bleiweiss owned a fur store located at Bruehl Strasse 68. The photo was produced as a postcard and sold at kiosks in Leipzig, where Chaim Bleiweiss purchased it.
    Date
    1937
    Locale
    Leipzig, [Saxony] Germany
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of William Blye

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: William Blye
    Source Record ID: Collections: 1998.A.124

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Wolf Bleiweiss (now William Blye) is the son of Chaim and Maria (Lustgarten) Bleiweiss (originally Blajwajs), both Polish Jews who had immigrated to Germany in 1922. Wolf was born April 7, 1924 in Leipzig, where his father was a prosperous furrier, whose business was located on the main commercial street of Leipzig (Bruehl Strasse). Wolf had a sister (b. 1919), who died at the age of three, and two brothers, Bernhard (b.1922) and Leo (b.1925). After the Nazi takeover, the Bleiweiss' were subjected to numerous antisemitic attacks. In March 1937, two weeks before Wolf's bar mitzvah, Chaim was one of three prominent Jewish businessmen who were paraded by the SA through the streets of Leipzig wearing signs that read, "Boycott the Jews." Right after the bar mitzvah, the Bleiweiss' left the country for Italy, leaving all of their property behind. The family settled in Milan, where Chaim started a new fur business. By the following year, however, the situation of foreign Jews in Italy was rapidly deteriorating, as a result of the enactment of Nazi-style racial legislation. Chaim Bleiweiss therefore decided to uproot his family once again in the summer of 1939 and flee over the Alps to France. Payment of a hefty bribe allowed them to cross the border, and for the next two-and-a-half years the family lived in Nice. Early in 1942, Chaim was sent to the Le Vernet internment camp. He returned home at the end of the summer to discover that his wife and two of their sons, Bernhard and Leo, had been arrested only a day or two before. Wolf, who was on a skiing trip in the mountains, was not at home when the raid occurred. Chaim wired Wolf to remain at the skiing village, and then proceeded to the Kaserne where the two boys were being held. Risking his own arrest, Chaim offered their captors a large bribe. He lost the gamble, however, and was detained along with his sons. The three were sent to Drancy, and soon after, were deported to their deaths in Auschwitz. After her arrest, Maria pleaded with the French gendarme that she was sick and in need of an operation. She was then taken to a hospital, where a sympathetic doctor performed surgery on her that was not needed, in order to protect her from deportation. When Wolf returned to Nice after a brief period in hiding in Grenoble, he found his mother convalescing in the hospital garden, with a policeman at her side, waiting for her to recuperate sufficiently to be deported. Wolf motioned to his mother to walk casually towards him and then ran away with her, escaping into a horse-drawn carriage that served as a taxi. The two of them found refuge in Saint Martin Vesubie, a refugee camp established by the Italians in the mountains near Nice. Wolf and his mother remained there until the following September (1943), when the camp was disbanded in the wake of the German occupation of the Italian zone. Having nowhere to go, the Bleiweiss' followed the Italian soldiers back to Italy and attached themselves to a partisan unit operating in the mountains, near the village of Cuneo. For the next eighteen months until their liberation, they lived a precarious existence in the mountains, among a group that included five or six other Jews. At one point, in September 1943, Wolf was caught by local fascists and put in a prison camp in Borgo Saint Dalmazzo, where there were some 350 Jews. Two months later the prisoners were placed on a transport to Auschwitz. Wolf managed to escape and rejoined his partisan group in the mountains. After the liberation Wolf and his mother returned to Nice, where they learned that they were the only survivors of their family in Europe. Several months later they were contacted by Maria's brother, who had emigrated from Vienna to New York in 1939. At his urging they cancelled their plans to join the illegal immigration to Palestine and prepared to emigrate to America. Sailing from Le Havre aboard the Ile de France, the Bleiweiss' arrived in New York in the fall of 1946. Wolf married another survivor in 1950 and had three children.
    Record last modified:
    2007-03-01 00:00:00
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