Guide to John Franklin (Hans Frankenthal) papers
Finding aid prepared by Judith Janec
Tauber Holocaust Library
JFCS Holocaust Center
2245 Post Street
San Francisco, CA, 94115
Title: John Franklin (Hans Frankenthal) papers
Identifier/Call Number: 1991.1016
Tauber Holocaust Library
Language of Material:
Storage Unit: Artifacts Box 1
Storage Unit: Archives Box 8
0.3 Linear feet
including documents and artifacts
Date (inclusive): 1941-1945
Language of Materials note:
Documents are in German, Dutch, English and Russian.
The John Franklin collection comprises documents and artifacts related to his childhood experiences as a German refugee in
Holland, as a prisoner in Westbork concentration camp, and as a liberated prisoner and displaced person after World War II.
Related Archival Materials note
See also John Franklin oral history interviews, OHP.2458.
John Franklin was born Hans Frankenthal in July 1930 to Max and Clara Frankenthal. He had an older brother named Danner. The
family lived in Voitsburg, Germany in Bavaria and his father was in the wine business. His mother was a home maker. After
Kristallnacht, the family fled to Holland; his brother Danner escaped to the United States in 1938 with the support of his
mother’s brother, and changed his name to Warren Franklin.
The Frankenthal family lived in a small town in the interior of Holland from 1938 until 1942. In late 1942 all Jews were removed
to Amsterdam. In the middle of 1943 he, his father and mother were deported to Westerbork. Shortly afterward, Mr. Franklin
and his father were deported to Bergen-Belsen. In 1945 he and his father were loaded into a transport train from Bergen-Belsen
to Theresienstadt. The train never arrived at its destination and later became famous as the Lost Train. His father perished
en route and was buried in a mass grave. The train stopped in Troebitz, in the Russian zone, where the prisoners were liberated
by Russian Cossacks.
After the war, Mr. Franklin returned to Holland and reunited with his mother, who had been in Auschwitz, and his grandmother,
who had spent the war years hidden in Holland. After his grandmother died in 1946, Mr. Franklin and his mother joined his
brother and uncle in San Francisco in 1948.
Mr. Franklin was educated as a teacher in the United States, and taught high school economics and political science in San
Francisco public schools. He married at age 57 and had two stepchildren.
Conditions Governing Access note
There are no restrictions to access for this collection.
Scope and Contents note
This collection documents the wartime experiences of John Franklin, who as a child escaped Nazi Germany with his mother and
father to settle in Holland in 1938. After the Nazi occupation of Holland in 1940, Mr. Franklin was interned in Westerbork
in 1943, transported to Bergen-Belsen and liberated by Russian Cossacks in Troebitz, Germany in 1945.
The collection comprises identification documents and artifacts relating to Mr. Franklin's residency in Holland and in Westerbork.
Artifacts include a backpack and cutlery used in Westerbork, a yellow "Jood" star and a ration card. Also of interest are
a Displaced Persons index card and an identification card in Russian, presumably related to his liberation in Troebitz, Germany
by Russian troops.
Preferred Citation note
John Franklin (Hans Frankenthal) papers - 1991.1016, Holocaust Center of Northern California, San Francisco, California
Conditions Governing Use note
There are no restrictions to use for this collection.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp).
Westerbork (Concentration camp).
Concentration camp inmates -- Germany
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Germany
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Netherlands
Jewish refugees -- Netherlands
Jews -- Persecutions -- Germany
Stars of David -- Netherlands
World War, 1939-1945 -- Liberation
D.P. Index Card for Hans Frankenthal
23 April 1945
Netherlands Red Cross identification card
1944 January 16
Ration card for Hans Frankenthal
Bewijs Van AAnmelding (Proof of Application) card for Samuel Frankenthal
1941 March 12
Document with Russian script
1945 May 19
Backpack used in Westerbork
Cutlery used in Westerbork
Yellow star of David with Jood