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Irene Lewitt walks down the beach with her parents.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 67859

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    Irene Lewitt walks down the beach with her parents.
    Irene Lewitt walks down the beach with her parents.


    Irene Lewitt walks down the beach with her parents.
    1929 - 1931
    Arbon, Switzerland ?
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Irene Lewitt

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Irene Lewitt

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Irene Mayer Lewitt is the daughter of Louis Paul Mayer (b. March 6, 1886) and Thekla Kunkel Mayer (b. Sept 5, 1896). Irene was born in July 29, 1927 in Leipzig where her father and uncle owned a business "Mayer & Co" selling wholesale fur pelts to furriers. The family also owned branches of the family business in Berlin, Antwerp and Zurich. Irene has one brother Hans Bernhard Mayer, born on July 2, 1931. Louis Mayer had grown up in Germany but moved to Zurich to open a branch of the family business in 1913. There he met Thekla who converted to Judaism prior to their marriage in 1921. Louis was a secular Zionist. In same year they married, they left Zurich returning to Leipzig to open another branch of the business. Leipzig was the center of the fur industry. Irene attended the Carlebach Jewish school from 1934 until 1938. Her brother attended the same school for a year or two. In 1938 her father's business was closed. It is unclear whether he sold it or whether it was confiscated. Louis' brother, Max Mayer had left Germany for Palestine in 1937; Louis considered going as well, but he could not imagine what he would do as the only profession he knew was in the fur industry. He considered going to Paris but since he had Swiss citizenship he returned to Zurich. The family all spoke Swiss German and this made their return quite easy. As a child Irene had spent her summers at her maternal grandmother's house on Lake Constance (Arbon).

    In 1948 Irene immigrated to Israel and joined the Israeli Army as Machal. She married Israel Lewitt, who came to Palestine in 1939 from Poland as a youngster with his parents on vacation and remained when the war broke out. Irene has one son and two grandsons. She worked in the Israel Museum since 1965 setting up the photographic archive. Upon her retirement Irene continues to work in the Shrine of the Book.
    Record last modified:
    2009-08-17 00:00:00
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