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The Blumenstein family, [left to right] Heinz held by his father, Franz, who stands beside Elsa, his mother.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 31730

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    The Blumenstein family, [left to right] Heinz held by his father, Franz, who stands beside Elsa, his mother.
    The Blumenstein family, [left to right] Heinz held by his father, Franz, who stands beside Elsa, his mother.

    Overview

    Caption
    The Blumenstein family, [left to right] Heinz held by his father, Franz, who stands beside Elsa, his mother.
    Date
    Circa 1937
    Locale
    Vienna, Austria?
    Variant Locale
    Wien
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Henry Blumenstein

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Henry Blumenstein
    Source Record ID: Collections: 01787

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Artifact Photographer
    Max Reid
    Biography
    Heinz Georg Blumenstein (now Henry Blumenstein) is the son of Feri (Franz) and Elsa Blumenstein. He was born in 1935 in Vienna. Franz was born in Navezamsky, Czechoslovakia in 1901 and moved to Austria as a child. There he met Elsa (b. 1905) as a teenager and the two married. He operated a successful perfume business in Vienna. On the night of Kristallnacht, he was arrested along with more than 3,000 other Viennese Jews and taken to Dachau concentration camp. After three or four months, his wife Elsa obtained his release with a sizeable bribe on the condition that he emigrate within four days. Franz left for Venezuela on board the "Koenigstein" and eventually made his way to Cuba where he stayed with his sister Finni. There he purchased landing certificates for his wife, their 3-year-old son Heinz George, and his mother Regina (b.1866), who were to arrive in Cuba on board the MS St. Louis. When the ship sailed into Havana harbor, Franz joined the flotilla of small boats that sailed up to greet the ship, and he called out greetings to his wife, son and mother.

    After the St. Louis was forced to return to Europe, the Blumensteins disembarked at Rotterdam, where they spent two months in the Hejplaat Quarantine Center. In August 1939, they moved to Amsterdam, where they registered with the Jewish Community. In November 1940, Elsa and Heinz received entry visas for the Dominican Republic, where her husband Franz had joined a Jewish agricultural colony in Sosua. But they could not obtain exit visas from the Netherlands, by now under German occupation.

    During the height of the deportations from Holland, Regina was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. She saved Heinz by pushing him into a closet and telling him to keep quiet. Elsa and Heinz fled to northern Holland, where the Dutch resistance provided them with separate safe hiding. Heinz was hidden by Johannes and Shoukje Dykstra of Oosterwierum who were recognized after the war as Righteous Among the Nations. Elsa also was in hiding, but she was arrested when, in the process of moving hiding places, she left her purse behind and was thus discovered. On September 24, 1943, she was deported to Auschwitz where she perished. Heinz survived the war in hiding and came to the United States on board the Athos II, where he rejoined his father in the United States.
    Record last modified:
    2009-03-29 00:00:00
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/pa1110548

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