Loewy postcard collection
Fonds / Archival Collection
Title NoteTitle based on contents of collection.
Extent & Medium28 postcards
Administrative/Biographical HistorySylvia and Fritz Loewy [subjects of the Loewy postcards collection] were German Jews who left Germany for Norway in 1940. Sylvia Loewy (née Garai, b. August 18, 1911, in New York, United States, d. December 14, 1977, Olso, Norway) was a dual American and German citizen. Fritz (b. November 27, 1898, in Berlin, Germany, d. December 1942, in Auschwitz, Poland) served in the German army during the First World War and worked in a ribbon factory and in the export trade; he made wreath ribbons after immigrating to Oslo as a specialized worker. On October 26, 1942, Fritz, along with other Jewish men in Oslo, was arrested by the Norwegian state police, transferred first to Bredtveit prison, then to Berg internment camp, and then deported to Auschwitz on the transport ship SS Donau on November 26, 1942.
Sylvia was imprisoned in the Grini concentration camp on January 22, 1942 and released on February 11, 1942, possibly due to her American citizenship. She fled Norway for Sweden and was resident in Stockholm on December 5, 1942. From Stockholm, Sylvia mailed several postcards to her husband, Fritz, care of shtetls, ghettos and concentration camps in the Polish General Government area.
After the war, Sylvia returned to Oslo, where she had a sister, Ingeburg. She placed an obituary for her husband in an Oslo newspaper in 1945. Sylvia Loewy died in Oslo on December 14, 1977. In 2018, the Oslo Jewish Museum placed a stolpesteine [memory stone] at the address where the Loewys lived when Fritz was arrested in 1942.
Scope & ContentCollection is comprised of twenty-eight postcards written by Sylvia Loewy, in Stockholm, Sweden, to her husband, Fritz, after his 1942 arrest and deportation. Not knowing where her husband was, Sylvia sent the postcards by registered mail to shtetls, ghettos and concentration camps throughout the Polish General Government territory. The postcards were sent in batches with similar messages, explaining that she lives in Sweden, that she is fine, and that she hopes to receive news from her husband as soon as possible.
Archival HistoryAccession 2008.001
Immediate Source of Acquisition or TransferPostcards were purchased by Harold Golden, a stamp collector and retired policeman from Abbotsford, British Columbia, in the 1990s. Golden gave the postcards to Dan Shmilovitch, executive director of King David School in Vancouver, with the request that Shmilovitch pass them on to an archival organization. Dan Shmilovitch gave the postcards to Robert Krell, who donated them to the VHEC in February, 2008.
AccrualsNo further accruals are expected.
NoteDescription is informed by research and translation work done by Sharon Meen in 2008 and 2009. Further research conducted by Lorenzo Camerini at the Falstad Centre in Ekne, Norway, the Jewish Museum in Oslo, Norway and the Swedish National Archives in Stockholm, Sweden. Consult the research file for more information.
System of ArrangementPostcards have been arranged in chronological order by the archivist.
RightsMaterials available for research and education purposes only. Permission to publish, copy or otherwise use these materials must be obtained from the VHEC.
Rules or ConventionsISAD(G) and Rules for Archival Description
Archivist's NotePrepared by Lorenzo Camerini in 2018. Updated by Shyla Seller in 2020 in preparation for upload into Collective Access.
Date of Description2018, revised 2020