Holocaust rescue archive, Einstein letter to go on sale in Jerusalem


(JTA) – A Jerusalem auction house announced the sale of a collection of documents that chronicle the rescue of several thousand Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe.

Known as the Hilel Storch archive, it contains over 100 pieces of correspondence connected to Storch, a Jewish refugee from Riga who settled in neutral Sweden in 1940, and represented the World Zionist Congress in that country.

FROM THE JTA ARCHIVE: Hilel Storch dead at 80 (April 26, 1983)

Among the documents on the block are papers about the so-called White Buses operation, in which 500 Jews, mostly from Denmark and Norway, were rescued along with other prisoners from concentration camps in what was then Czechoslovakia. Storch negotiated the rescue operation with the Red Cross and Heinrich Himmler, who headed the German SS and is considered one of the architects of the Holocaust.

Storch died in 1983 in Stockholm.

The archive, which will go on sale next month at the Kedem Auction House and online, is expected to fetch anywhere between $15,000 – $25,000, with the starting bid being $5,000.

Also on sale is a letter written in 1934 by Elsa Einstein, the wife of the German Jewish physicist Albert Einstein. Addressed to the couple’s friends in the United States, the physicist added to his wife’s letter a postscript in which he wrote: “In Germany, receiving a letter with this signature would send the reader to a concentration camp.”

FROM THE JTA ARCHIVE: Nazis Confiscate Albert Einstein’s Berlin Bank Account (April 1, 1933)

The first concentration camps in Germany were established soon after Hitler’s appointment as chancellor in 1933 – the year that Einstein left Germany, before settling in the United States until his death in 1955.

The letter is expected to fetch $5,000-$8,200.


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