Wegrzyn family papers

Scope and Content

This collection contains the papers of the Wegrzyn family who originally came from Galicia, Poland, but had moved to Berlin by the 1920s. The family fled Nazi persecution against Jews by emigrating to Shanghai shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Included are marriage and birth certificates, tax clearance certificate, driving licences, family register and an album of family photographs. Also included is correspondence from Chaja Wegrzyn's sister Grete Harpuder from Berlin and from relatives in Galicia concerning their constant hopes and efforts for emigration and the appalling living conditions for Jews in Poland.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sigmund (also Zygmunt, Sisia) Wegrzyn was born in Przemysl (Galicia, Poland) in 1899. He trained as a motor mechanic and owned a haulage company in Berlin in the 1930s. In 1922 he married Chaja Mindla ('Minna') Gritz, also born in Przemysl in 1901. They had five children. The couple emigrated to Shanghai in 1939 with three of their children: Charlotte (born 1927), Jacques (born 1931) and Arno (born 1937). (Their sons Hans (born 1923) and Leo (born 1928) are not mentioned in the surviving correspondence). Sigmund worked as a car mechanic in Shanghai. The family moved to Palestine via the United States of America in 1947.

Chaja Wegrzyn's sister Grete Harpuder, her mother-in-law Gertrud Harpuder and her son Peter (born 1931) were still living in Berlin at the time the Wegrzyns emigrated. Whilst Gertrud Harpuder was waiting for a permit to join her relatives in Poland, Grete and her son were hoping to follow Grete's husband Alfred to the United States. All three were deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in February 1944 and on to Auschwitz concentration camp three months later. Grete died at Stutthof concentration camp in January 1945. The exact circumstances of Peter's and Gertrud's death are unknown.



Conditions Governing Access

Acquisition Information

Donated by Nir Wegrzyn



Archivist's Note

Contains printed copies of scanned documents but original photographs

Related Material

See photo archive for photographs