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Jacques Benbassat papers

 Collection
Identifier: Mss 1065-002

Collection Overview

The collection consists of a photograph album, memoir, passports, and other papers of Jacques Benbassat, a native of Austria who immigrated to the United States in 1949. Materials mostly relate to the Feuerstein family, including identification cards used by Adela Feuerstein, his maternal grandmother, and photographs of Feuerstein family members traveling in Austria and Poland before 1938, when they fled Austria in fear of Nazi persecution.

Dates

  • 1906-1942, 1998

Creator

Language of Material

Materials in French, Hebrew, German, Polish

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.

Biographical Note

Jacques Benbassat (1929-2010) was born in Vienna, Austria. His parents, Ella Feuerstein and Edouard Goldman, were Polish citizens who moved to Austria after World War I. They divorced in 1931. Ella Goldman remarried Albert Benbassat, a Sephardic Jew from Bulgaria who held Turkish citizenship, as his parents were born in Turkey. Benbassat was a banker and owned property in Vienna.

In 1938, after Nazi Germany annexed Austria during the Anschluss, the Benbassats left Vienna and went to Poland. Jacques Benbassat spent the 1938-1939 school year with his father before he joined his mother and stepfather in Romania, which was considered relatively safe by Albert Benbassat because the king was anti-Nazi. The Benbassats lived in Romania from 1939 until 1942, by which time Romania had joined the Axis powers and the family again felt threatened.

Albert Benbassat successfully bribed Romanian authorities to prevent the family's deportation, and he secured a family passport which allowed them to apply for visas to travel to Spain, then hopefully to the United States. In September 1942, as Spanish citizens, the family began traveling to Spain, moving from Romania to Venice, Italy, then Geneva, Switzerland. The family then planned to travel through France to reach Spain, but they were forced to remain in Geneva after the Germans took over southern France. They stayed in Geneva throughout the rest of the war and, in 1946, moved to Paris. In 1949, Jacques Benbassat emigrated to the United States with the assistance of his father, who was already an American citizen.

Extent

0.25 linear feet (5 folders, 2 videocassettes)

Abstract

The collection consists of a photograph album, memoir, passports, and other papers of Jacques Benbassat, a native of Austria who immigrated to the United States in 1949. Materials mostly relate to the Feuerstein family, including identification cards used by Adela Feuerstein, his maternal grandmother, and photographs of Feuerstein family members traveling in Austria and Poland before 1938, when they fled Austria in fear of Nazi persecution.

Collection Arrangement

Materials are described at the folder level.

Acquisitions Information

Materials donated in 2005 by Jacques Benbassat and in 2011 by Dan Benbassat.

Processing Information

Processed by Rebecca McClure, February 2013.

Creator

Source

Title
Inventory of the Jacques Benbassat Papers, 1906-1942, 1998
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by: Rebecca McClure; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rebecca McClure
Date
2013
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)