The Slovak National Council for Social Solicitude issued this registration certificate to Mikulas Diamant on July 25, 1945, in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. This view shows the front and back cover. The certificate ensured repatriation and safe return home.
Many refugees had difficulties replacing lost or invalidated personal identification documents. The certificate of Polish citizenship shown here was valid in place of a passport. A Polish Jewish refugee used this certificate to travel legally from Lithuania, through the Soviet Union, to Japan. It contains the Curacao notation needed to obtain Soviet and Japanese visas. The bearer of this certificate aimed to reach Palestine, but ended up spending most of the war in Calcutta, India, part of the British…
HIAS immigration certificate issued to Manius Notowicz in Munich, Germany. The document states that Notowicz will travel on the Marine Flasher on February 22, 1947, to New York City.
Marriage certificate obtained by Dr. Mohamed Helmy stating that Anna Gutman (Boros) married an Egyptian man in a ceremony held in Helmy’s home. Dr. Helmy also received certification from the Central Islamic Institute in Berlin attesting to Anna’s conversion to Islam, which the marriage certificate reflects. Translation: Marriage certificate On Wednesday June 16, 1943, we have certified the marriage contract between Abdelaziz Helmy Hammad, 36 years old, who was born on May 6th, 1906, in Faqous,…
Polish citizenship certificate issued to Samuel Solc on December 16, 1939, by the Britannic Majesty's Legation in Kovno, charged with representing Polish interests in Lithuania. Samuel decided to emigrate to Palestine in late 1939. His journey lasted over two years and took him through eight countries. Samuel arrived in Palestine on February 6, 1942, after stays in Lithuania; Kobe, Japan; Shanghai, China; and Bombay, India. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
This page of a Polish citizenship certificate issued to Samuel Solc contains two visas. The first (left), stamped by the British Passport control in Shanghai, allowed Samuel to travel to Palestine via Burma, India, Egypt, and Rangoon. The second visa (right) bears the British Mandate "Government of Palestine" stamp, dated February 6, 1942, and allowed Samuel to remain in Palestine permanently. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
A certificate of "Aryan" descent, issued to Joseph Schäfer of Mühlheim, Germany. To prove one's "Aryan" racial status in Nazi Germany, an individual had to trace their ancestry back to 1800. Signed by an official justice of the peace, this certificate attests to Schäfer's parentage and baptism. Dated January 14, 1936.
Helen was the oldest of three sisters. Her father owned a soap factory. After the Germans attacked Poland in 1939, they took over all Jewish businesses. Helen and her family fled from Lodz to a town between Lodz and Warsaw. After two years, in 1942, Helen's father heard that the Jews in the town to which they had fled were to be deported to labor camps. He bought false papers for Helen and her youngest sister. All three sisters survived the war.
German Jews trying to immigrate to the US in the late 1930s met extreme bureaucratic hurdles, including documentation that was often virtually impossible to obtain.
Walter was the oldest of eight children born to Polish-Catholic immigrant parents in a town near Boston, Massachusetts. The family moved back to Poland when Walter was a child, and lived on a family farm near Ostroleka in northern Poland that Walter's mother had inherited. Because his father's American nickname was "Stetson," Walter was mistakenly registered as "Charles Stetson" on his American birth certificate. 1933-39: After Walter completed secondary school, his father sent him to the University of…
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