To search the full text of this finding aid, type Ctrl and F on a PC. Mac users, type Command and F. A box will appear in the browser window. To search the full document, Open All must be selected first in the Detailed Description of the Collection.

Inventory of the Samuel Greene Papers, 1927-2007

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Photographs, a memoir, and other papers of Samuel Greene, a native of Sławatycze, Poland. Materials include photographs of Greene and his wife, Regina Kawer Greene, before, during, and after World War II.
Title: Samuel Greene papers
Creator: Greene, Samuel, 1914-2013
Date(s): 1927-2007    
Extent: 0.1 linear feet
(3 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
Call Number: Mss 1065-013
Language of Material: Materials in English

Biographical Note

Samuel Greene (1914-2013) was born Szmuel Grynblat in Sławatycze, Poland. In the 1930s, Greene served apprenticeships as a furrier. After being imprisoned and tortured for his progressive political beliefs, Greene traveled to Warsaw looking for work. While in Warsaw, Greene met Regina Kawer. They married two and a half months before Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. When the Polish government called for men to move east in order to regroup to fight the advancing German army, Greene traveled to Bialystok, which soon fell under the control of the Soviet Union. Regina Greene, whose blonde hair and blue eyes allowed her to escape Nazi scrutiny, was able to travel through Nazi-held territory to join him.

The Greenes were eventually rounded up by the Soviets and transported in cattle cars thousands of miles to Siberia. There they were imprisoned in a labor camp and worked as slaves, felling and shipping trees, and later surreptitiously boarded a train to another camp in the Ural Mountains, where Samuel Greene was forced to work in the mines. Greene was able to bribe a Soviet official with a cigarette lighter to secure his and Regina's passage to Samarqand, Uzbekistan. Living conditions there were better, but once again Greene was imprisoned, this time for black marketeering, only to be released with Regina's help.

At the end of the war, the Greenes returned to Poland. Most of their family members were gone, but Regina managed to reunite with her sister Edith, who had changed her name to Maria when she acquired false papers as an Aryan. In 1947, after a short stay in a displaced persons camp in Vienna, the Greenes moved into private housing, where their first son, Leonard, was born. In 1948, Regina's aunt and uncle, Edith and Louis Toporek, sponsored the couple's immigration to Charleston, South Carolina.

Collection Overview

Photographs, a memoir, and other papers of Samuel Greene, a native of Sławatycze, Poland. Greene survived imprisonment in two Russian labor camps during World War II and, in 1948, immigrated to Charleston, South Carolina. Materials include photographs of Greene during and after the war, his wife Regina Kawer pre- and post-war, and other Greene family members who settled in Israel after the war. Other materials include items from a 2007 luncheon honoring Greene at the College of Charleston, a memoir of Greene's that was published in Oh! Sławatycze, My Home..., and a copy of Regina Kawer's family tree.

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.


    • Greene, Samuel, 1914-2013
    • Greene, Regina Kawer, 1920-1990


    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives
    • Holocaust survivors--Poland
    • World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities


    • Sławatycze (Poland)

    Types of Material

    • Black-and-white negatives
    • Black-and-white photographs
    • Black-and-white slides
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Color photographs
    • Correspondence
    • Memoirs
    • Newsletters
    • Photocopies


    Memoir, 2000, undated   folder 1

    Included is a photocopied excerpt from Oh! Sławatycze, My Home..., in which Samuel Greene provides details about his life before, during, and after World War II. Also includes a copy of Regina Kawer's family tree.

    Images, 1927, 1944, 1950s, 1976, 1980s   folder 2

    Negatives and slides show a 1944 photograph of Greene and fellow Polish refugees outside the labor camp in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Other photographs are of his wife, Regina Kawer, and her aunt and siblings in Warsaw in 1927; Greene's siblings Abraham Greenblatt and Chaya Greenblatt Rosenblatt and their families in Israel in the 1950s; and his stepmother Bayla Greenblatt in Israel in 1958. Later photographs are of Samuel and Regina Greene in Charleston, South Carolina, in the 1980s. Digital images on DVD are also included.

    Sam and Regina Greene Family Fund, 2007   folder 3

    Includes invitations, menu, and copies of a presentation given at a 2007 luncheon honoring Samuel Greene and announcing the Samuel and Regina Greene Family Fund to benefit the Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program and the Jewish Heritage Collection at the College of Charleston. Also includes an email from Harlan Greene with background information on Greene family members, a copy of the Spring 2007 College of Charleston Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program newsletter highlighting the fund, and a newspaper clipping about a lecture given by Holocaust historian Christopher Browning at the College on the same date.

    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], Samuel Greene papers, College of Charleston Libraries, Charleston, SC, USA.

    Acquisitions Information

    Materials were donated in 2000 by Samuel Greene.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Rebecca McClure, June 2011.

    Encoded by Rebecca McClure, June 2013.

    Reviewed and uploaded by Martha McTear, July 2013.

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

    Table of Contents