Abe Weiss papers

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 1996.A.0081
  • RG-10.173
Level of Description
  • Yiddish
  • German
  • English
  • Polish
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium


oversize box




Biographical History

Abe Weiss (1912-1995) was born in Kołomyja, Poland (Kolomyia, Ukraine) to tailor Selig Nachbar and his wife, Baile Weiss. He was also called Alfred and Adi, he used his mother’s maiden name rather than his father’s last name, and his siblings used both Weiss and Nachbar. He moved to Leipzig in 1929 to work in his brother Salomon’s clothing factory, and he lived with his brother, sister-in-law Ethel (Etti) and niece Beata. His half-brother, Marcus (Mordechai) Birnberg also moved to Leipzig, as did their sister Regina (Rivka). Abe Weiss immigrated to the United States in December 1938, and lived briefly with relatives Mollie and Ben Yuran in New Brunswick, New Jersey and Nathan and Anna Weiss in the Bronx. In 1939, he married Brooklyn-born Mollie Levin (1917-1989), but despite his marriage to an American citizen, he found it necessary to travel to Cuba and reenter the United States under another emigration quota. He became a naturalized citizen in 1943. He worked as a tailor before attending the Fashion Institute of Technology to learn pattern making. He and his wife later moved to Maspeth, Queens. He sold United States war bonds during World War II and Israel bonds afterwards. A lifelong Zionist, he was honored for his bond-selling by the Maspeth Jewish Center and by a meeting with David ben Gurion during Weiss’s first trip to Israel. Abe’s mother died before the Holocaust, and his father, brothers Marcus, Salomon, and Jacob (Koppel), sisters Regina and Rachel, niece Beata, and nephews were all killed in the Holocaust.

Archival History

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Funding Note: The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

Barbara Jacobson and Susan Bloom, daughters of Abe Weiss, donated the Abe Weiss papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1996.

Scope and Content

The Abe Weiss papers consist of biographical materials, correspondence, photographs, and restitution papers documenting Abe Weiss from Kołomyja, his relocation to Leipzig, and his immigration to the United States as well as his family members who remained in Kołomyja, Leipzig, Zbąszyń, Kolno, and Białystok and perished in the Holocaust. A photo album includes photographs from his visit to the Berlin Olympics. Biographical materials include photocopies of Abe Weiss’ Polish and German birth certificates, wedding announcements for Regina Nachbar and Chaim Dudowicz, Red Star Line and S.S. Gerolstein travel receipts and passenger lists and additional records documenting Weiss’ immigration, Abe Weiss’ marriage certificate, certificates recognizing Abe Weiss for selling war bonds, Rosh Hashanah cards and Nachbar stationery documenting the Nachbar family, and family histories composed by Abe Weiss’s daughter, Barbara Jacobson. The correspondence series contains letters and postcards exchanged among Abe Weiss and his relatives following his immigration to the United States while his family remained in Leipzig, Kołomyja, Zbąszyń, Kolno, and Białystok. Correspondence from Kołomyja documents Selig Nachbar, Rachel and Leyb Koch, and Jacob Nachbar in Kołomyja; correspondence from Leipzig documents Salomon, Ethel, and Beata Nachbar, Marcus Birnberg, and Regina and Chaim Dudowicz; and correspondence from Zbąszyń, Kolno, and Białystok further documents Regina and Chaim Dudowicz. The letters and postcards primarily report on anti-Semitic harassment, efforts to emigrate from Germany and Poland, Salomon Nachbar’s and Max Birnberg’s imprisonment in concentration camps, Chaim Dudowicz’s confinement in a refugee camp, and Regina Dudowicz’s efforts to rejoin her husband. Loose photographs include images of Weiss and Nachbar family life in Kołomyja and Leipzig, and the photo albums contain photographs of Abe Weiss at the Berlin Olympics and in the United States, with his family and friends in Leipzig, and vacationing elsewhere in Germany. The restitution papers primarily consist of correspondence between Abe Weiss and the United Restitution Organization (URO) documenting his attempts to gain restitution for loss of fortune and property, damage to professional development, and insurance payments, especially in relation to his brother, Salomon Nachbar, and the Nachbar clothing factory and for his own emigration costs during the Holocaust.

System of Arrangement

The Abe Weiss papers are arranged as four series: I. Biographical materials, approximately 1920-1945, 1996, II. Correspondence, 1935-1941, III. Photographic materials, approximately 1930-1940, IV. Restitution papers, 1930-1978

Corporate Bodies



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.