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Becker family papers 1989.1002
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical Information
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Related Archival Materials note

  • Title: Becker family papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 1989.1002
    Contributing Institution: Tauber Holocaust Library
    Language of Material: Multiple languages
    Container: Archives Box 6
    Physical Description: 1.0 Folder(s)
    Date: 1939-1941, 1945
    Language of Materials note: Correspondence is in Polish and German. Receipts are in English. English translations are available for some of the Polish and German material.
    Abstract: The Becker family papers are comprised of family correspondence during the period 1939-1941, including letters and postcards sent from the Warsaw and Lodz ghettos from some members of the Becker family to family members living in the United States.
    Creator: Becker family

    Biographical Information

    Before the invasion and occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany, the Becker family lived in Lodz, Poland.
    Martin Becker (1917-2001) attended the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and later studied economics at Carleton College, Northfield, MN. At the time of Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, Martin was living in New York, where he had an uncle who owned a bakery. His mother, who had been visiting him earlier from Poland, was at sea, returning to Poland. Unable to reach Poland, his mother was rerouted and returned to the United States, where she spent the rest of her life. Family members Abraham, Tadek and Lolek remained behind and were trapped in Nazi-occupied Poland. Their home was confiscated by authorities; they were forced to move to the Warsaw Ghetto.
    Martin registered for the US military draft, and received military intelligence training at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. He served in Europe during the war, and entered Dachau concentration camp in April 1945. Towards the end of the war, he was as an interrogator of German suspects for war crimes trials.
    According to a note included in the file by Martin Becker, donor of the collection, his father and brothers perished at Treblinka death camp.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    There are no restrictions to access for this collection.

    Conditions Governing Use note

    There are no restrictions to use for this collection.

    Scope and Contents note

    This collection is comprised of correspondence – mostly postcards, but some letters and a telegram – sent primarily from members of the Becker family still living in Europe to other family members living in the United States and Holland during the period from November 1939 until late 1941. The postcards and letters document the desperate situation of those left in Poland. They illustrate the difficulties of escape and the great impediments families faced in trying to rescue family members. Several postcards contain heart-breaking pleas for assistance in obtaining transit visas and papers, and awareness of an uncertain future.
    Also included are postal return receipts, and receipts for food packages sent to family members in Warsaw, Krosniewice and Kutno, Pola

    Preferred Citation note

    Becker Family papers - 1989.1002, Tauber Holocaust Library - JFCS Holocaust Center, San Francisco, California

    Related Archival Materials note

    Video oral histories of Martin Becker were conducted on May 24, 1993 and July 14, 1993, and are available for viewing upon request.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Becker, Abraham
    Becker, Lolek
    Becker, Tadek
    Family papers -- Poland
    Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland -- Lodz
    Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland -- Warsaw
    Jewish families -- Poland
    Jews -- Persecutions -- Poland -- Lodz
    Jews -- Persecutions -- Poland -- Warsaw
    Lodz (Poland)
    Postcards -- Poland
    Receipts -- Poland
    Warsaw (Poland)
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Civilian relief -- Poland
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Lodz
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Warsaw.