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Inventory of the Hugo Schiller Papers, 1942-2001

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Correspondence, newspaper clippings, memoirs, and other papers of Hugo Schiller. Materials relate to Schiller's rescue from the Gurs concentration camp in France by Alice Resch Synnestvedt, a Quaker volunteer from Norway; his time at Aspet, the Quaker children's home; and his eventual escape from France to the United States. Correspondence includes letters from his parents and aunt while he was at Aspet, discussing their life in Gurs and advice for Schiller after his rescue.
Title: Hugo Schiller papers
Creator: Schiller, Hugo, 1931-
Date(s): 1942-2001  
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
(8 folders)
Repository: Jewish Heritage Collection, Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: (843) 953-8016
Fax: (843) 953-6319
URL: http://archives.library.cofc.edu
Call Number: Mss 1065-006
Language of Material: Materials in English, French, and German

Biographical Note

Hugo Schiller was born August 18, 1931, to a Jewish family in Grünsfeld, Germany. In 1938, his father was arrested and sent to Dachau for eight weeks, after which he was released and forced to sell his business. Schiller and his parents were deported to the French concentration camp of Gurs in 1940. After spending about six months in the camp, the Toulouse delegation of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group, offered to take children under the age of 15 to a different camp. With his parents' consent, nine-year-old Schiller was one of 48 children taken to a children's home in Aspet, France. His parents were eventually deported to Auschwitz and killed.

In 1942, Schiller was one of eight children at Aspet chosen to be smuggled out of France. Sent to the United States, Schiller lived with his paternal uncle and his family in Baltimore, Maryland, working in his uncle's upholstery business before being drafted into the Korean War. After completing his service in the army infantry, he obtained his degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. While in Baltimore, he met his wife, Eleanor Cohan, and they married in 1956. In 1967, they moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.


Collection Overview

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, memoirs, and other papers of Hugo Schiller. Materials relate to Schiller's rescue from the Gurs concentration camp by Alice Resch Synnestvedt, a Quaker volunteer from Norway; his time at Aspet, the Quaker children's home; and his eventual escape from France to the United States. Correspondence includes letters from his parents and aunt while he was at Aspet, discussing their life in Gurs and advice for Schiller after his rescue. Also includes an excerpt from a manuscript by Synnestvedt detailing her experience with Gurs and the children she rescued and placed in Aspet.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.


Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index this collection in the Library's online catalog. They are grouped by name of person, family, or organization, by topical subject, by place, and by types of material.

    Names

    • Schiller, Hugo, 1931-
    • Synnestvedt, Alice Resch, 1908-
    • Gurs (Concentration camp)

    Subjects

    • American Friends Service Committee
    • Hidden children (Holocaust)--France
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
    • Holocaust survivors
    • Jewish children in the Holocaust--France
    • World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities
    • World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue
    • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Norwegian

    Places

    • Gurs (France)
    • Aspet (France)

    Types of Material

    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Correspondence
    • Facsimiles (reproductions)
    • Memoirs
    • Photocopies
    • School yearbooks

    Related Resources

    Related Material

    Related materials in College of Charleston Special Collections include a curriculum package and resource guide for South Carolina voices: lessons from the Holocaust (Mss 1070, D804.3 .S34 1992). This documentary includes videotaped interviews with South Carolina Holocaust survivors, including Hugo Schiller.


    Inventory



    General, circa 1942   folder 1

    Includes photocopies of Schiller's French Sauf-Conduit document (used in place of a passport) with his American visa, photocopies of lists of Aspet children and people on transport #17, and photocopies of photos of Schiller with five other Aspet children and the exterior of the Aspet school. Also includes a photocopy of a memorandum from Donald A. Lowrie, an American representative of the YMCA, to Tracy Strong, General Secretary of the World's Committee of the YMCA, regarding "present measures applied to foreign Jews in non-occupied France."



    Personal correspondence, circa 1942   folder 2

    Five letters from Schillers' parents and aunt, all written in German, discussing their life in Gurs and advice for Schiller after his rescue.



    Personal correspondence translations, circa 1942   folder 3

    Translations of personal correspondence in folder 2.



    Personal correspondence facsimiles, circa 1942   folder 4

    Facsimiles of personal correspondence in folder 2.



    General correspondence, 1945, 1989-1998, undated   folder 5

    Correspondence in English and German with and between other Aspet children, as well as to Alice Resche Synnesvedt.



    "From Tyssedale to the War in Southern France," 1999   folder 6

    Excerpt from the manuscript "From Tyssedale to the War in Southern France" by Alice Resch Synnestvedt, detailing her experience with Gurs and the children she rescued and placed in Aspet; also includes photocopies of the notes she used to write the manuscript.



    Chabad Academy yearbook, 1998   folder 7

    Chabad Academy 1998 yearbook, which includes newspaper articles about the academy's butterfly project which honored the 1.2 million children victims of the Holocaust and was spearheaded by Schiller's wife, Eleanor, a teacher at the academy.



    Newspaper clippings, circa 1942, 1984, 1998, 2001   folder 8

    Newspaper clippings about Alice Resch Synnestvedt's trip to Myrtle Beach in 1998 as well as articles about Schiller's public speaking on the Holocaust. Also included is a 1984 German newspaper clipping about Gurs and the rescue of Jewish children and a circa 1942 newspaper clipping about the docking of the Nyassa in Baltimore.


    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions

    This collection is open for research.

    Copyright Notice

    The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

    The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Hugo Schiller papers, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    Materials were donated in 2004 by Hugo Schiller.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Rebecca McClure, January 2011.

    Encoded by Rebecca McClure, November 2011.

    Reviewed and uploaded by Martha McTear, January 2012.

    Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

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