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Archive of Documents - Hillel Storch - a Meeting with

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Lot 0107 Details

An archive containing more than one hundred documents related to Hillel Storch, Chairman of the World Jewish Congress in Sweden and to his endeavors to rescue Jews from the Nazis during the last years of the Nazi regime.
The archive contains:
* Feststellungen, die im Zuge der Befreiungsaktionen von Schutzhäftlingen aus deutschen Konzentrationslagern getroffen wurden [findings revealed when "custody prisoners" were liberated from German concentration camps], affidavit signed by Franz Goering - SS officer who was appointed by Walter Schellenberg, Himmler's assistant, as a liaison officer for the "White Busses" operation.
An affidavit of nine pages; each page is signed by Goering on the bottom in initials; the document is signed at the end by Goering with his complete signature. On page 2, three lines were added by Goering, by hand.
The affidavit refers to the operation of transferring 1200 Jews from Theresienstadt to Switzerland, initiated by the Swiss economist Jean-Marie Musy in 1944, and to the operations of rescuing prisoners from various camps and transferring them to Sweden during 1945. The document also directly refers to the rescue of Jews. According to a note attached to the affidavit, the document was signed in Storch's office.
Enclosed is an additional copy, not signed, as well as an additional document titled "some comments about the people's outrage regarding November 8, 1938 (Kristallnacht)" [Einige Notizen über die sogenannte volks empörung am 8. November 1938]. This document is not signed but Goering's name is written at the end, in pencil.
* A letter handwritten by Norbert Masur to Hillel Storch; written on Masur's official letterhead, dated 18.7 (no year).
* Roll of film with 67 negatives of photographs portraying the "White Busses" operation. Among the photographs - concentration camps survivors, rescue teams, ships that served to transfer survivors to Sweden.
* Transcript of a report composed by Raul Walenberg, 22.10.1944, relating to the state of Hungarian Jews (two typewritten pages; Swedish). With this document is another transcript of a report in German which is not signed, from the same period, quoting the Hungarian press agency MTI, regarding the Race Laws imposed on Jews among them the obligation to wear a yellow badge, curfew laws, and more. Both transcripts bear a signature (unidentified).
* A typewritten letter, written by Felix Kersten to Storch on April 4,1945, while staying in Stockholm, in which he reports that Himmler agreed to transfer 450 Danish and Norwegian Jews from Theresienstadt to Neuengamme and from there to Sweden. Not signed; on upper part appear the initials F.K., with handwritten corrections. In addition - a document in Yiddish from March 1, 1945, which might have been written by Storch, titled "Kersten", outlining, probably, the main points of a meeting between the two. Mentioned are the Jews of Finland, Himmler, Hitler, concentration camps, and more; three original carbon-copies of letters sent by Storch to Felix Kersten in March-April 1945, mentioning Kersten's proposal that Storch would go to Germany to meet with Himmler; an affidavit in Swedish "about the relations with Felix Kersten"; a document (four-pages) by Baron von Nagel, Dutch Ambassador to Sweden, from 1949; a document consisting of 26 pages with translations into English of documents relating to Felix Kersten - "The Data on the Finnish Medical Councillor E.A. Felix Kersten's humanitarian relief work during the war 1940-1945…", typewritten with some corrections in pen.
* Carbon copy of a letter to Walter Shcellenberg, Himmler's assistant, from June 1945 (one month after the German surrender), with a series of questions - about Eichmann, Rudolf Kastner, Bergen-Belsen Jews, and more. The name of the writer of this letter is not mentioned, and it is signed in pen but the signature is not clear, maybe it is Storch's signature. In addition - transcript of a letter from Schellenberg to Storch, written one week earlier, on June 6; two copies of a 96-pages report in German written by Schellenberg in which he outlines mainly the events of April-May 1945 (typewritten, not signed).
* Transcript of a telegram from Storch to the heads of the World Jewish Congress in New-York, in which he informs them that he authorized Kersten to go to Germany and meet with Himmler. March 31, 1945. Typewritten.
* A letter from the prime minister of Sweden, Tage Erlander, from 1951. Typewritten on official stationery of the prime minister, signed in pen.
* 18 original documents and some photocopies of documents, related to Storch's years in Latvia, to his immigration to Sweden in 1940, to his attempts to immigrate from there to the United States; an invitation to Storch's wedding, 1937; copy of a letter that Storch wrote to his wife in 1940, when he was already in Sweden while his wife and son were still in Riga; documents regarding the nationalization of Storch's enterprise in Riga by the Soviet authorities; Storch's and his family's visas to Palestine, which have never been used; and more.
* About 80 documents, most of them from the second half of the 1940s, dealing with various aspects of Storch's life in Sweden - his Zionist activity, business, personal life, as well as numerous letters from people who were refugees in Sweden and thanked him sincerely for his assistance and commitment. Among the documents: 14 copies of telegrams exchange between Storch and the Jewish Agency in Palestine, May 1943-May 1945, including lists of Hungarian Jews that must be saved; 14 carbon-copies of correspondence and telegrams-exchange between Storch and Salomon Adler-Rudel, of the Jewish Agency in London, July 1943-May 1945, mainly regarding the attempts to rescue Danish Jews and to the arrival of Jews on the "White Busses" in Sweden; three reports by Dr. Otto Schutz, member of the World Jewish Congress in Sweden, two of them from March 1945, about Bergen-Belsen and Ravensbrück extermination camps, most probably as a preparation for the "White Busses" operation. Carbon copies, with handwritten correction; and more.
Hillel Storch
Hillel Storch was born in Latvia in 1902. From an early age he was an enthusiastic Zionist activist and was involved in the promotion of Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel. Storch was a businessman and in 1940, when Latvia was occupied by the Soviets, he moved with his family to Sweden, where he served as the representative of the Jewish Agency and member of the World Jewish Congress. Within just a few years he became one of the most influential Jews in Sweden and had personal relations with the royal family, the prime minister and other important public figures.
During World War II, Storch, who in the meantime became chairman of the World Jewish Congress in Sweden, tried in any possible manner to assist Jews in countries occupied by the Nazis. First he organized shipment of food parcels to Jews in concentration camps in Germany through the Swedish Red Cross. Most of the parcels were sent to Bergen-Belsen but the Germans delivered only a small part of the parcels while most of the parcels were stored. The parcels were revealed when the British Army liberated the camp. Later on Storch made endless efforts to use his good relations with the royal family to save Jews from the Nazis. Storch approached, for that purpose, Felix Kersten, who was the personal physician and physical therapist of SS commander Heinrich Himmler.
The indirect negotiations which Storch conducted with Himmler through Kersten in the beginning of 1945 led to Himmler's agreement to hand over concentration camps to the Allied Forces in good order, and not to bomb the camps. In addition he achieved Himmler's consent that food parcels sent from Sweden to Jews in concentration camps will be delivered to the prisoners, and when he realized that an order was issued in March 1945 to bomb Bergen-Belsen while inmates are still there, he succeeded in achieving Himmler's promise that this order would be cancelled.
In April 1945, when Himmler realized that Germany is about to be defeated, Kersten succeeded in arranging a personal meeting between Storch and Himmler. Storch, who was not a native Swedish citizen, could not be granted protection and support on the part of Sweden when in Germany. Following intensive discussions, Norbert Masur, member of the World Jewish Congress in Sweden, was appointed to meet with Himmler. This meeting was the first and only one between Himmler and a Jew representing Jewish organizations. Masur and Kersten flew to Berlin in a private plane on April 20. Since this was the date of the Fuehrer's birthday, and Himmler participated in a birthday party in the Bunker in Berlin, Masur had to wait for 26 hours before he met, on April 21, 1945, for two and a half hours, with Himmler. The main direct result of this meeting was the liberation of some 7500 women (out of which at least 2000 were Jewish) from Ravensbrück extermination camp in northern Germany and transferring them to Sweden and to Switzerland.
White Busses
"White Busses" - an operation organized by the Swedish Red Cross and the government of Denmark to rescue prisoners from German extermination camps and transport them to Sweden. The operation was held in the spring of 1945 and got its name from the vehicles - busses, ambulances and trucks, which were all painted white and marked with a red cross for identification. During this operation more than 15,000 prisoners were rescued from extermination camps, out of which about one half were from Scandinavian countries and the second half from other countries. Among them were some 500 Jews, most of them from Denmark, who were rescued from Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia. As part of this operation, 2000 women were rescued from Neubrandenburg camp - 1000 were Jewish women.
The operation was made possible following negotiations between Count Folke Bernadotte (who later served as mediator in Eretz Israel and was murdered by Lehi members) and Heinrich Himmler. Felix Kersten served as mediator. One of Himmler's subordinates, Walter Schellenberg, understood that Germany is about to be defeated and encouraged Himmler to search for allies among the Western political forces. At first, Himmler's agreed to gather all the Scandinavian prisoners in one camp - Neuengamme in Hamburg, where the Swedish Red Cross will assist them, and only during the operation and the continuation of negotiations, he agreed to transport the prisoners to Denmark and Sweden.
Total of more than one hundred documents, most of them typewritten. Size and condition vary.
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Archive of Documents - Hillel Storch - a Meeting with

Estimate $15,000 - $25,000Dec 02, 2015
Starting Price $5,000
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Ships fromJerusalem, Israel

Kedem Auctions

Jerusalem, IL
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