Correspondence

Series
IdentifierRA023-02
Extent & Medium0.5 cm of textual records
Date1944–1945
Administrative/Biographical HistoryRebecca (née Buckman) Teitelbaum was born in Antwerp in 1909, to Abraham Backmann and Annie (née Stenfeld) Buckman. She married Herman Teitelbaum (born in Erdőbénye, Hungary, 1904), on April 13, 1938. Before the Second World War, Teitelbaum lived in Anderlecht near Brussels and worked in the accounting department of a department store, À l’Innovation, in Brussels. Rebecca and Herman had three children, Anny (b. 1939), Christian (b. 1946) and Shirley (b. 1953), and raised Rebecca's nephew, Alex Buckman (b. 1939) after he lost both his parents in the Holocaust.

Rebecca Teitelbaum spent seventeen months in Ravensbrück, a concentration camp for women, where she worked in the office of the Siemens ammunitions factory. Ravensbrück was one of the largest concentration camps in Germany, where approximately 132,000 women, many with children, were imprisoned. About half died from hunger, medical experiments, executions, gassing or on the death marches. As the Allies approached Ravensbrück in March 1945, 24,000 women were forced on death marches to Mecklenburg. Teitelbaum was evacuated on a Red Cross truck. The truck was bombed and she was wounded and taken to Sønderborg Hospital in Copenhagen; she lost her bag, which contained correspondence and her recipe book. Three months later, Teitelbaum returned to Belgium where she was reunited with her husband Herman, daughter Anny, and her orphaned nephew Alex. Two years later a man appeared at her home in Belgium with possessions he had found in a Red Cross truck. Using the names on the letters, and her hospital records, the man traced her to Brussels in order to return her lost things.

Teitelbaum and her family emigrated to Montreal via Halifax in 1951, arriving on the ship Conte Biancamano. She became a Canadian citizen in 1957. Teitelbaum passed away in December, 1999, in Ottawa.
Scope & ContentSeries is comprised of letters and telegrams regarding members of the Teitelbaum family, including Rebecca Teitelbaum's husband, Herman, and their daughter, Anny. Correspondents include Herman and Teitelbaum's brother, Jacques.
Archival History1999.008
LanguageEnglish, French, German
NoteLetters have been translated; consult archivist for more information.
System of ArrangementRecords are arranged in the order processed by the VHEC upon their donation in 1999.
RightsMaterials available for research and education purposes only. Permission to publish, copy or otherwise use these materials must be obtained from the VHEC.

Collection Contents

Fonds consists of records relating to the pre- and post-war experience of Rebecca (née Buckman) Teitelbaum, Herman Teitelbaum and their family. Fonds is arranged into five series: Notebooks (1944–1945), Correspondence (1944–1945), Identification and related records (1938–1974), Photographs ([1941]–1947) and Objects [1944].

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