HIAS and HICEM Main Office, New York.
Extent and Medium
ca. 20 l.m.
Scope and Content
The various series and subseries of this fonds contain many files relevant to the work of HIAS and HICEM in Belgium, or concerning aid to refugees from Belgium. We also point out that, as with other record groups of the HIAS-HICEM collection, the series and files in this fonds often include correspondence of Max Gottschalk, due to his position in this organisation. Series III (“Correspondence between HIAS and HICEM Offices”) contains several files with correspondence relevant to our guide, namely correspondence between Max Gottschalk and other individuals. See file III-3 (i.a. concerning Emile Kowarski, former director of the Brussels Refugee Committee; 1941), III-24 (between Gottschalk and Max Warburg, i.a. concerning internees in Belgium; 1940-1941), III-25 (correspondence from Gottschalk; 1941), III-31 (idem, including an article on HIAS by Gottschalk; 1944) and III-33 (correspondence between Ilja Dijour and Gottschalk; 1945). In Series IV (“International migration problems”) we note the file on the Conference of European Aid Committees in Paris, august 1939, in which the Antwerp and Brussels committees were included (folder IV-14a) and the file containing correspondence with the International Labor Office, including correspondence from Max Gottschalk (IV-24; 1940-1942). Series VI (“Correspondence of HIAS and HICEM/New York with organisations”) contains two files with correspondence with the JDC for the period 1940-1941, in which the situation in Belgium is mentioned – see folders VI-26 and VI-27. Relevant material is especially found in Series XII (“Europe”). There is a subseries “Belgium”, spanning the files XII-Belgium-1 to XII-Belgium-22. We note the following files in the inventory: statement of account of the Association belge pour l’Émigration des Réfugiés, including names of individual depositors (XII-Belgium-1; 1939-1940); report on the period May 10th – July 30th 1940 (XII-Belgium-2; 1940); correspondence (i.a. of Mrs. Albert Felddegen) concerning the rescue of refugee children in Belgium, including lists of homes and institutions (XII-Belgium-3 to XII-Belgium-5; 1939-1942); plan for distribution of JDC financial aid for Belgian Jews (XII-Belgium-6; 1940); correspondence with the Comité d’Assistance aux Réfugiés juifs in Brussels, regarding migration to Shanghai (XII-Belgium-7; 1940); correspondence of HIAS and HICEM regarding the transfer of refugee files from the American consulate in Antwerp to the American consulate in Marseilles (XII-Belgium-8; 1941); various memoranda, press releases, reports and statements (XII-Belgium-9; 1940-1941); correspondence and reports on the situation of the Jews in Belgium (XII-Belgium-10; 1940-1942); correspondence concerning Belgian camps (XII-Belgium-11; 1941); correspondence between Max Gottschalk and lawyer Alfred Dorff (XII-Belgium-12; 1941); correspondence to Gottschalk and material on Henri de Man (XII-Belgium-13; 1940-1941); correspondence between Gottschalk and Solomon Stein of the Jewish National Fund (XII-Belgium-14; 1941); letter to Gottschalk from the Belgian Jewish Information Office (XII-Belgium-15; 1941); correspondence with Belgian non-Jewish institutions inside the USA (XII-Belgium-16; 1941-1942) and outside the USA (XII-Belgium-17; 1941-1942); various documents on a group of German refugee children moved to unoccupied France (XII-Belgium-18; 1942, 1945); correspondence between BELHICEM and HICEM (XII-Belgium-19; 1945); report of the American Jewish Committee concerning a visit to Belgium and the Netherlands (XII-Belgium-20; 1945); radiograms of HICEM to BELHICEM (XII-Belgium-21; 1945) and a copy of a JDC list of Jews in Belgium, repatriated from Germany (XII-Belgium-22; 1945). We also find material on refugees from Belgium in other subseries of this series XII. The files XII-Portugal B-2, XII-Portugal B-3, XII-Portugal B-5, XII-Portugal B-14, XII-Portugal B-18, XII-Portugal B-21, XII-Portugal B-23, XII-Portugal B-28, XII-Portugal B-33, XII-Portugal B-40, XII-Portugal B-51 and XII-Portugal B-66 contain i.a. correspondence of HICEM Lisbon concerning refugees from Belgium, contact with the offices in Belgium, the situation of the Jews in Belgium, emigration of Belgian Jews to the United States, financial aid on behalf of residents of Belgium, contacts with Belgian officials such as Paul Van Zeeland, … for the period ca. 1940-1942. In Series XXI (“Individual cases and lists of emigrants”) we note the folders XXI-85 to XXI-88 which contain personal correspondence of Max Gottschalk with organisations and prominent individuals on behalf of emigrant relatives and friends (ca. 1941-1945). Lastly, Series XXVIII (“HIAS reports”) contains reports on Belgium for the years 1946-1947– see folders nr. 776 and 778.
There is an English inventory, comprising five volumes in total.
The EHRI project, in cooperation with the National Archives of Belgium, selected Holocaust-relevant archival descriptions from the finding aid G. DESMET & P. FALEK-ALHADEFF, P.-A. TALLIER (dir.), Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Joden en het Jodendom in België (19de-20ste eeuw) - Sources pour l'histoire des populations juives et du judaïsme en Belgique (19e-20e siècles), Brussel, Algemeen Rijksarchief, 2015. Please note that this guide focuses on Belgium-related archival materials in the respective descriptions.