• Poesi notebook, 1945
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Poesi

Autograph books from Sønderborg hospital

Archival Item

Resource TypeBooks & Periodicals
Date of Creation1945
GenreAlbums, Diaries & Scrapbooks
IdentifierRA029-01-00-00-03
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
Scope & ContentItem is a blue hardcover notebook kept by Rebecca Teitelbaum, while convalescing in the Sønderborg hospital in Denmark after the war. Book contains fellow patients’ messages of well-wishes and sketches. Binding has been reinforced with tape.
LanguageDutch, Danish, French
Archival HistoryThe VHEC used the following identifiers to refer to this item, which was grouped with the notebook with red thread: 1999.008.002 and 99.008.002.
Part ofNotebooks