|Irving Reifer Papers (1945-1950)|
|ACC# 1998.024, 2000.024|
EXTENT: 0.25 linear feet, 1 box
Biographical and Historical Note:
Irving Reifer was born in Poland in 1924. He survived nine concentration camps and a death march during the Holocaust. Unable to return to his home, he spent several years in three displaced persons (DP) camps (Leipheim, Lechfeld and Neu-Ulm). He eventually immigrated to the United States in 1950.
Of the 8 million Europeans who had been driven from their countries during World War II, 2 million were unable to be repatriated and were placed in DP camps that were administrated by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). Among the displaced people were approximately 50,000 Jews who had been liberated from the concentration camps.
Leipheim, in the Munich District, opened in December 1945 and closed in June 1950.
Lechfeld, near Augsburg, opened in August 1947 at an airfield formerly belonging to the Messeeschmidt company. The camp closed March 31, 1950.
Neu-Ulm (Ludendorff-Kaserne, Ludendorff Barrack), in the Stuttgart District, opened in the summer of 1946 to relieve the overcrowding at Bad Aibling and the Munich Funkkaserne. The camp was evacuated in March 1951.
The Jews of the DP camps developed a culture of their own. More than 70 newspapers were published, and theaters and orchestras were established. People married and had children and waited to begin their lives outside of Europe. The need for DP camps dwindled with the establishment of the State of Israel. About two-thirds of the displaced people emigrated to Israel, while most of the rest moved to the United States. The last DP camp in Germany was closed in 1953.
Collection Overview: Scope and Content Note
The Irving Reifer Papers are housed in one archival box and are arranged in four series. Series have been designated for DP camp documents, emigration papers, photographs and miscellaneous.
The papers consist chiefly of certificates, medical records, licenses and other records depicting daily life in the DP camps at Leiphiem, Lechfeld and Neu-Ulm. Other items include tickets and newsletters from the U.S.S. Hersey, as well as a collection of 30 photographs. One of the photographs shows Reifer in a concentration camp uniform.
One miscellaneous item, a certificate of incarceration from the Flossenberg concentration camp, is included with the collection.
Provenance: These materials came in two accessions in 1998 and 2000 (Acc# 1998.024 and 2000.024) as a gift of Irving Reifer. Reifer collected these documents while living in DP camps in post-World War II Germany and while traveling to the United States via the U.S.S. Hersey.
- Series 1: DP camp documents, 1945-1950
These papers are housed in one archival box and are arranged chronologically. This series includes medical records, driver's licenses, correspondence and other documents relating to DP camp life.
Folder 1: Leipheim camp documents, 1945-1948
Folder 2: Lechfeld camp documents, 1948-1949
Folder 3: Neu-Ulm camp documents, 1949-1950
- Series 2: Emigration Papers (U.S.S. Hersey), 1950
These papers are housed in one archival box and are arranged chronologically. The series includes meal tickets and baggage check tickets, as well as ship newsletters.
Folder 4: Emigration (U.S.S. Hersey), 1950
- Series 3: Photographs, 1945-
The photographs are housed in one archival box. No specific arrangement at this time. The collection includes an image of Reifer in a concentration camp uniform, taken after liberation. Other images include a wedding at the Leipheim DP camp, rallies, soccer games and photographs taken aboard the U.S.S. Hersey.
Folder 5: Photographs, 1945-
- Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1949
This series includes only one item - a certificate of incarceration from the Flossenberg concentration camp.
Folder 6: Certificate from Flossenberg concentration camp, 1949
Restrictions and Separations: None
Processed by: Lisa Moellering
- Subjects: Displaced persons - Germany; displaced persons camps - Germany; Leipheim (Germany); Lechfeld (Germany); Neu-Ulm (Germany)
- Added Entries: Reifer, Irving
Date Completed: Nov. 18, 2002
|The Museum is open to the public seven days a week.|
Monday to Friday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.
|The Boniuk Library is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Library is closed Saturdays and Sundays.|
The Museum is closed for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For other holiday hours, visit the "Events" tab on the Museum’s Web site at www.hmh.org.
Children under age 6 FREE
Students age 6-18 FREE
College-level with valid school ID FREE
Seniors age 65+ $8
AARP members with valid ID card $8
Active-Duty Military $8
General Admission $12
Holocaust Museum Houston is free each Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27, 2017), Memorial Day (May 29, 2017), D-Day (June 6, 2017), and Kristallnacht (Nov. 9, 2017).
|If you believe…|
That a systematic destruction of a people should never happen…
|If you believe…|
That too many of our children are immersed in a culture of violence and intolerance…
|If you believe…|
That education is unique in its ability to transform ignorance into respect for those who are different…
|If you believe…|
That prejudice and hatred can be overcome…
|If you believe…then act!|
Become a member of Holocaust Museum Houston.