Recipe Book and Songs
Resource TypeBooks & Periodicals
Date of Creation[1944 or 1945]
GenreAlbums, Diaries & Scrapbooks
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 notebook : 15.5 cm x 23 cm (closed 15.5 cm x 11.5 cm)
Scope & ContentItem is a handmade book of recipes compiled by Rebecca Teitelbaum while in Ravensbrück concentration camp. In secret and at great risk, Teitelbaum stole paper and an indigo pencil from the office in order to create the book. The paper was used sparingly, with two recipes per page. Teitelbaum traded food for a needle and thread and meticulously stitched and bound the pages. She wrote in French so that the women in the camp, most of whom were from Belgium, could read the recipes. Recipes include Mousse au chocolat, Gelée de groseilles, Gâteau neige, Plat Hongrois, Ouef Hollandais, Sabayon Italien and Rebecca's own Gateau à l'Orange.
Archival HistoryThe VHEC previously used the following identifiers for this object, which was grouped with the song book: 1999.008.001, 0099.008.001.
NoteRecipe book has been partially translated; consult the archivist for more information.