[Bertha Munter mourning book]
Title NoteTitle supplied from contents of file
Administrative/Biographical HistoryThe Bicks were a Jewish-German family who lived in Sorau, now Żary, Poland, until their escape to Chile in 1939. The documents in this fonds pertain mostly to Siegfried (birth name Jude Siegfried Bick, b. July 16, 1882, in Sorau, Germany), his wife, Johanna Bick (birth name Johanna Munter, b. November 24, 1889, in Labischin, Germany), and their son, Werner Bick (b. December 14, 1919, in Sorau, Germany).
Siegfried Bick was born to Simon Bick (b. 1846; d. 1907) and Rosa Rosenthal (b. 1841; d. 1923). He had six brothers and sisters: Max, Georg, Jenny, Regina, Bertha and Felix. After the death of his father in 1907, Siegfried and his brother, Max, purchased their parents’ clothing store from their mother. Siegfried married Johanna Munter in April 1912. They had a daughter the following year and, in 1919, they had a son, Werner.
The Bick family home was vandalized during Kristallnacht, on November 9, 1938. Siegfried and Werner were imprisoned. Siegfried was transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and Werner was released after four days in the local jail. He immediately contacted his uncle, Georg, who lived with his family in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Georg promised to send a friend to help him cross the border. Werner sought refuge in Vaals and studied woolen fabric design at a textile school for two months.
Siegfried was released from Sachsenhausen on December 13, 1938. On February 5, 1939, Siegfried and Johanna arrived in Rotterdam and stayed at the refugee camp there. They were reunited with Werner soon after and the three of them moved to the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam, which was being used as a refugee centre. Siegfried, Johanna, and Werner were set to leave Europe the day before the start of Second World War, September 1, 1939. They traveled to Antwerp, Belgium, and almost did not make it aboard the Chilean ship, the Copiapó, for which they had already purchased tickets. The ship, which was the last to make it out of Hamburg, Germany, before the war began, arrived in Valparaíso, Chile, with around 300 passengers on board, on September 29, 1939. The Bicks, who were among ninety Jewish refugees aboard the Copiapó, settled near Santiago.
In Chile, the Bicks found success farming and operating a cheese-making business. In 1949, Werner married Ingrid and the two of them lived in Lo Espejo, a suburb of Santiago. They had four daughters: Olivia, Silvia, Jacqueline and Rosely. After Siegfried died in January 1966, Werner decided to move the family to North America and began searching for a new city to live in. Werner and his daughters, Olivia and Jacqueline, arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on January 13, 1969. The rest of the family soon followed. The Bicks owned a dairy farm in Aldergrove, British Columbia.
Johanna died February 26, 1979, in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Werner died April 26, 2010.
Scope & ContentFile consists of mourning book, titled “Jahrzeits und Trauer-Andachtsbuch,” belonging to Johanna Bick for her mother, Bertha Munter.