Guide to John Franklin (Hans Frankenthal) papers 1991.1016

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
Contributing Institution: Tauber Holocaust Library
Language of Material: Multiple languages
Container: Artifacts Box 1
Container: Archives Box 8
Physical Description: 0.3 Linear feet including documents and artifacts
Date (inclusive): 1941-1945
Language of Materials note: Documents are in German, Dutch, English and Russian.
Abstract: 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.
creator: Franklin, John

Related Archival Materials note

See also John Franklin oral history interviews, OHP.2458.

Biographical/Historical note

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).
Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Concentration camp inmates -- Germany
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Germany
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Netherlands
Identity cards
Jewish refugees -- Netherlands
Jews -- Persecutions -- Germany
Jews, German
Personal papers
Stars of David -- Netherlands
World War, 1939-1945 -- Liberation

Folder Archives Box 8

Documents 1941-1945


D.P. Index Card for Hans Frankenthal undated


Warnung flier 23 April 1945


Netherlands Red Cross identification card 1944 January 16


Ration card for Hans Frankenthal undated


Bewijs Van AAnmelding (Proof of Application) card for Samuel Frankenthal 1941 March 12


Document with Russian script 1945 May 19

Box Artifacts Box 1

Artifacts undated


Backpack used in Westerbork undated


Cutlery used in Westerbork undated


Yellow star of David with Jood undated