Herman Teitelbaum to Rebecca Teitelbaum letter
Date of CreationApril 3, 1944
GenreCorrespondence & Philatelic Materials
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.
Extent & Medium1 document
Scope & ContentItem is a letter from Herman Teitelbaum in Buchenwald concentration camp to his wife Rebecca Teitelbaum in Ravensbrück concentration camp.
NoteLegacy number 1999.008.003j