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Start of Helen Blank Collection 
AR 11286 

Sys#: 000199982 


Center for Jewish History 

15 West 16th Street 
New York, NY 10011 

Phone: (212) 744-6400 
_ Fax: (212) 988-1305 








LEO BAECK INSTITUTE: 15 W 16TH STREET. NEW YORK, NY 10011, TEL (212) 744 6400 


Contents of the Helen Rose Blank - Collection 

all items are copies except when otherwise indicated; 

1. ) AHC questionnaire I & II 

2. ) 'Growing up in Vienna" memoir, text given as talk by Helen Blank in the 
New School University in New York City; 8 pages; (original) 

3. ) Certificate stating that Helene Bilber [Helen Blank} teaches at "Wiener 
Talmud - Thora Schulverein" [Jewish elementry and high school in 1020 
Vienna, Austria]; issued by director of "Israelitische Kultusgemeinde in Wien" 
[Jewish Community in Vienna, Austria] on 12/7/1938; 

4. ) Letter of recommendation for Helene Bilber [Helen Blank], issued by Dr. 
Joel Pollak of the "Wiener Talmud - Thora Schulverein" [Jewish elementry and 
high school in 1020 Vienna, Austria]; dated 1/1939; 


1) Copy of radio program with Interview with Fritz Spielmann, broadcasted by 
Austrian Broadcasting Corporation on 10/18/1987; 

The Austrian Heritage Collection at the Leo Baeck Institute 


Leo Baeck Institute: 1 5 West 1 6 th Street, 4 th Floor, New York, NY 1 001 1 , tel (21 2) 744 - 6400 

Name: (toSZ ft L ft ^ 

First Name Middle Name Last Name 

_ Occupation in US: 

Date of Birth: ^g^j lg i^ff Place of Birth: {/ 1 MiA^ <$UuU*/€t 

Month Day Year City Country 

Prewar k «i , 

Address: ftiAy a ^^A\yi^. ^ h* \l UtoMA h axaLlasl 

Street (District, if in Vienna/ City Country 

Prewar Name: UtUUr B^feeA Maiden Name: 6)L fc£fc 

1. Education/Occupation(s) (please if possible, indicate institutions and year when entered/left) 

L*hM Wak^ fo>A^ fa ^^S^4v^oW^ i^jc ^ 

2. Were you affiliated with any kind of organization^outrj, Zionist, (Political) etc.)? 
If so, did you have any specific function? 

3. Were you arrested and/or interned? (please indicate where and when) 


4. What was your route of emigration? (please indicate places and dates of stay) 

(pleßse circle) 

5. May we contact you again with a more detailed follow-up questionnaire? (Yes}/ No 

6. Do you have any documents, such as photographs, letters, diaries, all kinds 

of manuscripts, etc., that would be appropriate for the archives of the LBI? Yes / No 

If necessary please use additional sheets. Thank you! 

The Austrian Heritage Collection at the Leo Baeck Institute 

austrian-jewish immigrants in the usa 

Leo Baeck Institute: 129 E 73 Street, New York. NY 10021, Tel (212) 744 Moo 

We kindly ask you to answer the following questions in as much detail as possible either 
m English or in German. If you need more space, please feel free to use additional 
sheets. If you don t know the answers to certain questions or don 't want to answer for 
any reason, just go on to the next question. J 

NAME: B* 1 ^ ftlftUR DATE . %\ u>\pt 


1.1 Please describe your parental home. 

(Did you live in an apartment or in a house? How many people lived with you? Did 
you have servants? What language(s) were spoken in the household?) • 

1.2 Please tell u» about your nAlahhnrfuyvi (District 1» vi-,-.-« 8 , 

K T?5 9r °" pS lived there? R e"9f°us We? Relationships between Jews art non- 
Jews? Relationships with neighbors?) • 

trtA ■ Ifta* >K ^ ^t^-rf yi?*^a. ^JU^ tu^^v^U^^ 


AHC - Questionnaire 2 - Page 1 of 12 

3 What religious tradition existed in your family? 

(Did you keep kosher, go to synagogue, observe holidays, etc.?) 

I Please, tell us about your friends and acquaintances. 

(Were they mostly Jewish or non-Jewish? Did you have any close non-Jewish friends?) 

Were you affiliated with any political, social or religious organization? 

(Youth Organizations, Zionist Organizations, Political Parties, other organizations) 
If so, did you have any specific function? 



AHC • Questionnaire 2 • Page 2 of 12 

Did you or your family encounter any anti-Semitism before March 1938? 

(If so, please give details.) 

What was your (or your parents') reaction to Hitler's rise to power In 
Germany in 1933 and to Nazi activity in Austria In the early thirties? 
Did you or your parents feel threatened by these events? 

AMC • Questionnaire 2 • Page 3 of 12 


How was your time spent during and after the "Anschluss"? 
What was the impact of the "Anschluss" on you personally? 

(Were you expelled from school/university? Did you or your parents lose your jobs? 
Were your apartments/houses looted? Were you (or members of your family) 
persecuted? Were you forced to scrub the streets?) 

How did non-Jewish friends, colleagues, schoolmates, neighbors, etc. 
behave toward you and your family? 

jrJ j^<^ /u*<^ ^Wo_ 

AHC • Questionnaire 2 - Page 4 of 1 2 

2.3 Do you have any recollections of November 9th, 1936, the so-called 
"Reichs-Kristallnacht"? (If so, please give details.) 


Were you or any members of your family arrested? Sent to a camp? ^ML^^ 
(If so, please give details.) 


2.5 Can you recaii In* process of obtaining pa|*>rs necessary for emigration? 
(Did you try to obtain visas for other countries as well? Were you supported by any 
relief organization, by relatives or friends?) v^xT d-UK+Tui^ 

J^-t life) ^trV \w^A^^L l HW> IftefM^tlAfc!, 

0AftC.Que8Honnair«2-^age5of 12 ^tt/VA^ t 

2.6 What happened to your (or your family's) apartments, houses, businesses 
and other property? 

f . 

2.7 When did yoü leave Austria? (Please indicate exact date, if possible) 

2.8 If you did not emigrate directly to the U.S, where did you go first? 

(How long did you stay there? Can you give a brief description of your experiences? 
Why did you leave?) 

AHC - Questionnaire 2 • Page 6 of 12 


.1 When did you arrive in the U.S.? ( Ptea se indteate exact date, If possible, 

2 Did members of your family emigrate to countries other than the U S ? 

(If so, where? Where do they live today? Are you still in contact wrth them* 

l)L\j w ^ mI^HmV^^'t Wiw 

Did you serve In the U.S. Armed Forces or In any other allied armv? 

Of so, when did you join? What division? What was your area of operation? 
When were you discharged?) . pera " on/ 

AHC • Questionnaire 2 - Pag« 7 of 12 

3.4 Please list places and dates of residence in the U.S. 

(City, State; in bigger cities, neighborhood) 

3.5 Please describe your occupational situation from your arrival in the U.S. to 

f^v,t>U\ . TJv«- d^H, jW^ ^4 ^ 

3.6 Did you belong to an^emlglffl^llg^^ or cultural 

association? (e.g. Austrian American Federation, Austrian Forum, etc.? If so, since 
when? Do you still belong to any of them?) 

AHC - Questionnaire 2 - Page 8 of 12 

3.7 Do you still speak German? If so, with whom and when? How often? 

3.8 Would you call yourself religious? To what degree? What Is your 
affiliation? Has It changed? * 

(Do you keep kosher, go to synagogue, observe the holidays,...?) 

3.9 Are your friends and acquaintances mostly German-speaking or non- 
German-speaking? Mainly Jewish or not? 

3.10 Of what country (countries) are you a citizen? When was each citizenship 

AHC - Questionnaire 2 - Page 9 of 12 

3.1 1 Have you ever visited Austria since the war? If so, how often? 

(What did you do there? Can you recall some of your impressions during these visits? 
Have you ever thought of going back permanently?) : ■ " ■ * ' 

Stout %^&\u^\*lsM*wu Wlt <fy fu^is 


4.1 Have you ever been interviewed by any other organization? 

(Please indicate when and by which organization?) 

4.2 Have you ewr been mentioned in any historical worics? 

(Holocaust-related literature, Documentary films, Exhibitions etc.) 

AHC - Questionnaire 2 - Page 10 of 12 


5.1 Spouse (Name, Maiden Name, Place/date of birth (If deceased, place/date of 
death), Occupation(s)) % * 

5.2 Mother (Name, Maiden Name, Place/date of birth (If deceased, place/date of death), 

5.3 Father (Name, Place/date of birth (If deceased, place/date of death, Occupation(s)) 

cU4 UM T<* AihV 

5.4 Siblings (Name, Maiden Name, Place/date of birth (if deceased, place/date of death), 


AHC • Questionnaire 2 - Page 11 of 12 

5.5 Children (Name, Maiden Name, Address (City, State, Country), Place/date of birth (rf 
deceased, place/date of death), Occupation(s)) 

5.6 Grandparents (Name, Maiden Name, Place/date of birth (if deceased, place/date of 

death), Occupation(s)) 

*V UO-f" 2 - I VIA FM. 

*L.fl A>An KAT-^L )• ; ...... . V- ! ' . 

77i* Austrian Heritage Collection is always looking for people to interview. 

If you know any Austrian-Jewish immigrants in the US who might be interested in 
participating in this project, please either ask them to contact us or write their addresses below. 

77ianA: yow very much for participating in this project 

AHC - Questionnaire 2 - Page 12 of 12 

E H 





> !J N 


ftien, "7. Djl«|toer 1938. 

* f 


He Leioun^ aer Iui^elitisohen J^^.geuolxidi t.ien 
daos Frau Helene £ i 1 b e r,Wieu # XV,)0hjfc^ii£ 

atiW |6/10 mhr*uJt,an de^ unter Aufsicht der 1 

meir4t *t"e- 


gegründet 1850 
Wien II. ,Malsgasse 16. 


Von der h.o. Schulleitung wird bestätigt ,dass 

Fräulein Helene B i 1 b e r,geboren am 15.4.1917 in Wien, wohnhaft in Wtmr~ 
JV. , Mattgraf Rüdigerstrasse 26/10,seit dem Herbst 1938 an unserer Volk*- 
schule als Lehrerin beschäftigt ist. 

Schon in der kurzen Zeit unserer gemeinsamen 
Arbeit hat sich gezeigt , welch tüchtige Lehrerin Fräulein Bilber ist. Es 
gelang ihr in erstaunlich kurzer Zeit sich in den religiösen Geist unse- 
rer Schule einzufühlen. Es zeigte sich bald welch angeborenes Geschick sie i 
Unterricht besitzt. Ihre gate Vorbereitung, ihr Pflichteifer haben ifcr die 
Möglichkeit gegeben, die ihr anvertrauten Kinder in musterhafter Disziplin 
zu einer wahren Klassengemeinschaft zu gestalten. Wir bedauern sehr,dass 
sie nicht schon früher an unserer Schule kam und wir könnnen ihr nur 

sehen, dass sie bald in ihieT-meuen Heimat Gelegenheit findet, Kinder un- 
terrichten und erziehen zu dürfen. I^re Arbeit wird jede Institution 2u 
Nutzen bringen, 

Ga ttes Segen möge ihren künftigen Lebensweg 


Wien. im Jänner 1939, 

End of Helen Blank Collection