Eric Nash: copy personal correspondence and papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Personal correspondence and papers of Eric Nash (Nasch).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Nash (also 'Nasch') family originally came from Holesov, Czech Republic, where they had been living since the 16th century. Eric Nash (born in 1910) grew up in a well-to-do family who owned a wholesale grain business. The family moved to Vienna in 1918 following an anti-Jewish pogrom in his home town Holesov when their house was raided. In 1936 he moved to Brno, Czech Republic, after completing his medical studies in Vienna.

Although he and his brother had the opportunity to leave to escape the oppression from the occupying Nazi German regime they chose to stay as their mother was unable to make the trip and they believed that the war would soon be over. In 1941 his brother Willi (born in 1901), a successful lawyer, and his wife Doris Fantl were taken on the first transport from Brno to Minsk, Russia, where Dorris died a year later due to illness. Willi was executed in 1943.

In 1942 Eric and his wife, Erna, mother Irma, sister Trude and her husband Henry were deported from Brno to Terezin ghetto where the family survived for two and a half years. His son Michael Joseph was born there a few days after arrival. Eric lived separately from his family and worked as a physician. Eric's sister and her husband left on a transport "to the East" a month later in April 1942. Erna's mother [Mother Knoll] arrived at Theresienstadt in the same year. Eric's and Erna's mothers were taken to Auschwitz concentration camp in December 1943. After avoiding several deportations Eric, Erna and their son were finally transported on to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland in October 1944 where the family was separated. His wife and son perished there. Eric only stayed at Auschwitz for six days before being shipped to Dachau labour camp. The American army liberated Eric Nash after he had endured seven days on the infamous Dachau death march.

He emigrated to the United States after the war and gave talks at schools, universities and jails about his experiences in the Holocaust.

Arrangement

Chronological

Conditions Governing Access

See Wiener Library access conditions at: http://www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/usinglibrary/usingthelibrary.aspx

Acquisition Information

Donated by Daniel Nash

Note

2007/26

Alternative Form Available

Also includes a digital copy of Eric Nash's report of his experiences during the Holocaust.