Guide to the Papers of Cecilia Razovsky (1886-1968),undated, 1913-1971


Processed by Felicia Herman (August 1995), Jason Schechter (May 2002), Tina Weiss (May 2003), Adina Anflick (August 2005)

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160



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Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on March 06, 2006. Description is in English.
2016 The finding aid was edited to clarify repetitive information by Boni Joi Koelliker. January 2019 Item-level description removed by CJH staff. March 6, 2019 Dao links added to encoded finding aid by CJH Rosetta Processor.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Cecilia Razovsky
Title: Papers of Cecilia Razovsky
Dates:undated, 1913-1971
Abstract: The papers consist of correspondence and reports of Cecelia Razovsky (married name: Davidson), noted social worker specializing in immigration and resettlement of refugees. The collection includes information about her work with the National Council of Jewish Women in the 1920s, and with the National Refugee Service (and predecessor organizations) in the 1930s. Information is included about her work as a Resettlement Supervisor in the post-World War II Displaced Persons camps in Europe, and as a field worker in the southwestern U.S. for the United Service for New Americans in 1950. The collection contains reports and correspondence from her trips to South America, primarily Brazil, to explore possibilities of refugee settlement in 1937 and 1946; as a representative for United HIAS Service to aid in settling Egyptian and Hungarian refugees in 1957-1958; and as a pleasure trip and evaluation of the changes in the Jewish community of the country in 1963. Also included in the collection are many of Razovsky's articles, plays, and pamphlets.
Languages: The collection is in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Yiddish, and Russian.
Quantity: 3 linear feet + 1 Oversized folder
Identification: P-290
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS New York, NY
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Biographical Note
portrait of Cecilia Razovsky

Cecilia Razovsky (1886-1968)

Cecilia Razovsky was an immigration and refugee relief worker whose extraordinary career spanned the early 1900s to the 1960s. Her life's work began with assisting Eastern European immigrants in the early 1900s, continued with helping German refugees during World War II, working overseas in Displaced Persons Camps, aiding refugees in United States Detention Camps after the War, encouraging Jewish communities in Southwest United States to take refugee families, and culminated with organizing resettlement efforts in South America, Central America, and the West Indies. She worked for major refugee relief organizations: National Council of Jewish Women, National Refugee Service, German Jewish Children's Aid, United Service for New Americans, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Service, and the Citizen's Committee on Displaced Persons. Against resistant administrations, she tirelessly negotiated for admissions of German children into the United States, landing rights for the SS. St. Louis in Cuba and the SS Quanza in Mexico and the United States, and increasing immigration opportunities in the Americas and West Indies.

Born May 4, 1886 to immigrant parents Minna and Jonas Razovsky in St. Louis, MO, Razovsky sewed buttons on overalls in a factory at age 12 to contribute to her family's income. She held a variety of jobs after school, working as a salesgirl, waitress, laundress, stenographer, clerk, and secretary until she took up teaching for the Jewish Educational Alliance in St. Louis at age 18. There, she gave evening lessons in English and History to immigrants and taught Biblical literature and Hebrew to children on Saturdays and Sundays. In 1911, she became an Attendance Officer for the St. Louis Board of Education, interviewing applicants and issuing employment certificates to children who qualified under the new Child Labor Law. She oversaw the probation of delinquent girls and studied the street trade situation in St. Louis in 1912. This position led her in 1917 to become an Inspector for the Child Labor Division, Children's Bureau, in Washington, D.C. She inspected mills and factories in Alabama, Eastern Ohio, and Virginia for compliance to the Child Labor Law. She examined the physical and educational development of Southern children, studied the effect of the First World War on child labor and school attendance throughout the United States, and surveyed the administration of the Child Labor Law in the District of Columbia. Concurrently, she attended classes in social work, drama, literature, economics, law, psychology, labor problems, public relations, and Spanish in a variety of schools in St. Louis, Chicago, and New York.1 In 1918, the Supreme Court declared federal child labor laws to be unconstitutional (child labor reforms were established in the late 1930s), and the Child Labor Division ceased.2

National Council of Jewish Women, 1921-1934

Razovsky returned to her earlier inclination towards helping immigrants and in 1921 became Executive Secretary for the National Council of Jewish Women's (NCJW) Department of Immigrant Aid. As she writes, "I was always interested in the literature about immigrants, living among them in my youth, and the stories in English written about them were to me fascinating and all the authors, like Anzia Yierska [Yezierska] Kahn, were my heroes and heroines..."3

Her unusual abilities were noticed and a year later she was appointed Associate Director. She also served as Editor of the NCJW bulletin, The Immigrant, for ten years.

In 1921, President Harding signed the "Three Per Cent Immigration Law" and in 1924 a permanent Immigration Restriction Bill was put into effect. NCJW worked on legislation, oriented immigrants to their new life in the United States, and established a Bureau of International Case Work to help reunite immigrants with their families overseas. Razovsky traveled throughout the United States training local NCJW committees on how to organize English and Citizenship classes. She met immigrants arriving at Ellis Island and other ports and developed international services to relatives abroad through agencies in Europe, Asia, and South America. She lectured for students and professional groups, conducting Institutes on Education of the Foreign Born. In 1922, Razovsky authored her first book; What Every Emigrant Should Know. She wrote What Every Woman Should Know About Citizenship in 1926. This book addressed the Cable Act of 1922, which required women to apply individually for citizenship versus making them automatic citizens under their husband's name. Although feminists saw the Act as a victory, it increased the hardship of many immigrant women, who were in greater danger of being deported; deserted overseas; and denied pensions, medical care, and employment. In 1938, Razovsky updated What Every Woman Should Know About Citizenship with a booklet titled Making Americans. This booklet, directed at the volunteer community, gave instructions on how to set up naturalization committees and bureaus, and provided information on immigration law and procedures.4

Razovsky was sent as a NCJW delegate to the First World Congress of Jewish Women in Austria in 1923 and addressed the conference on immigration. After the conference, she toured European ports and evaluated conditions for refugees. Many refugees prevented from entering the United States were admitted into Cuba and Razovsky was sent there in 1924 to assist and evaluate the poor conditions for emigrant Jews. Razovsky served, from 1925-1935, as Secretary of the Jewish Committee for Cuba. In 1931, Razovsky visited Russia in order to study social service conditions.

During this time, she was highly involved in legislation and policy making, attending major conferences and committees on immigration and particularly on the German refugee crisis during the 1930s. She served in various capacities for the National Conference of Social Work from 1926-1929, including as Chair of Division X in 1927 and Chair of Conference on Immigration Policy in 1928. In 1929, Razovsky represented several American organizations at the International Association for the Protection of Migrants, an advisory committee to the League of Nations in Geneva. Jane Addams appointed her in 1932 as a representative at the International Conference for Social Work in Frankfurt, Germany. The same year, she served as Chair for the National Council on Naturalization and Citizenship, studying increased naturalization fees. In 1933 she chaired an advisory committee on legislation reform for the Ellis Island Committee of Forty Eight that was appointed by Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins. She also served as a chair and secretary for the General Committee of Immigration Aid at Ellis Island and NY Harbor from 1933-1936.5

In between Razovsky's whirlwind of activities, she married Dr. Morris Davidson in 1927. Dr. Davidson, a certified ophthalmologist, accompanied Razovsky on her later trips to South America, assisting her with her work, and became an expert in Brazilian culture and history.6

National Coordinating Committee, 1934-1939

The pressure on the State Department to admit German refugees escaping the rise of Nazism in Germany did not waive restrictions on immigration quotas until late 1936, when a slight change in wording regarding public charges increased visa issuance but not to the extent needed to help the increasing wave of refugees.7 It was clear a centralized refugee relief agency was needed to assist non-Jewish and Jewish German refugees, one more comprehensive than the current Joint Clearing Bureau which was under the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The League of Nations appointed James G. McDonald as High Commissioner for Refugees in 1933. McDonald and Chairman Joseph P. Chamberlain, Professor of Public Law at Columbia University, established the National Coordinating Committee for Aid to Refugees and Emigrants Coming from Germany (NCC), a successor agency to the Joint Clearing Bureau. NCC's plans were based upon a report Razovsky wrote in January 1934 (Razovsky had also served as Secretary for the Joint Clearing Bureau). NCJW loaned Razovsky to pioneer this new organization, and a small office opened with Razovsky as Executive Director in July 1934. The staff grew to 180 by February 1939 and in June 1939, NCC merged with two other organizations to form the National Refugee Service (NRS). Affiliated with NCC was the German Jewish Children's Aid, an organization headed by Razovsky to negotiate the admission and later placement of German Jewish refugee children.8

The NCC began with approximately 20 non-Jewish and Jewish member organizations, serving as a national clearinghouse and registry. In addition, NCC dealt with affidavits, quotas, visas, and financial aid. The bureau helped refugees find employment throughout the United States and evaluated projects specifically designed for refugees with specific occupations. NCC educated the non-Jewish public on the refugee problem, urged local communities to help refugees resettle outside of New York City, and strengthened local committees to care for refugees throughout the United States. The agency cooperated with government agencies, worked with the League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Coming from Germany, and coordinated the work of existing relief organizations throughout the United States and abroad.9

The NCC looked for escape avenues for refugees all over the globe. The prospects in Central and South America led Razovsky and her husband to visit São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1937 in order to evaluate conditions and anti-Semitism for German refugees. In São Paulo, Razovsky met Dr. Ludwig and Luiza Lorch for the first time. Dr. Lorch headed a committee for German refugee relief and Mrs. Lorch was involved in the women's committee. They would become important friends to the Davidsons, aiding Razovsky in many areas of social work in São Paulo, Brazil.10

In November 1938, after Kristallnacht, Razovsky described the "tense and feverish" atmosphere in her office; they received 1300 callers each day. Restricted viciously by the quota of bringing 20 refugee children per month into the United States, Razovsky writes, "We not only are not taking large groups but we are even slowing up on those whom we have ordered under the auspices of the German-Jewish Children's Aid, because of the long delays in the quota... At the end of the day we are literally in rags-physically and mentally..."11

On June 2, 1939, 930 Jewish refugees sailing from Hamburg, Germany on the SS St. Louis arrived in Mexico and were denied their visas. The ship then sailed to Cuba, and Razovsky, whose previous experience at NCJW included working in Cuba helping refugees, was one of the officials sent to help them. She reminisces in 1961, "When the official word came through that the ship would have to leave with its passengers still on board, we were all thunderstruck and horrified. To this day it is painful to recall the grief and agony on that occasion. When the day and hour arrived for the ship to sail, we were all at the dock. Some of the American newspaper men were so broken by the news that they knelt and prayed and wept aloud; others cursed and raved; we ourselves were too crushed to do anything but weep."12

National Refugee Service, 1939-1943

Overwhelmed with work, the National Coordinating Committee merged with two other organizations (NCC Fund and the Greater New York Coordinating Committee) to form the National Refugee Service (NRS) in June 1939. The NRS centralized and expanded refugee efforts, adding additional departments. Razovsky served as Director of the new Migration Department and later as Assistant to the Executive Director.

Razovsky was among the members of the Capital Loan Committee that began operating on October 16, 1939 to evaluate loan applications from refugees, who holding only visitor visas, were often barred from accepting employment. The funds were dispersed from an inherited NCC fund, the Rosenwald Capital Outlay Fund. Each loan was intended as a one time economic adjustment. Within two and a half months, the Loan Committee approved 24 individuals' applications spanning fifteen communities throughout the United States. Additional donations came from the American Joint Reconstruction Foundation, the Refugee Economic Corporation, outside communities and other sources.13

In the Fall of 1938 in Evian-Les-Bains, France, President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened the Intergovernmental Committee on Political Refugees, whose purpose was to make a concerted effort to help German refugees. Out of all of the thirty-two nations there represented, United States included, only the representative from the Dominican Republic offered to accept large numbers of Jewish refugees. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, Dominican Republic's Dictator who, between October 2-4, 1937, murdered 20,000 poor Haitian workers, all of them black, had motives aside from benevolence. His desire to make his Republic "white" was coupled with his need to improve his image with the United States. Trujillo hoped to settle 100,000German and Austrian refugees on 24,000 acres of agricultural property, and the first six settlers arrived in Sosua in March 1940. Razovsky worked with James N. Rosenberg, President of the Dominican Republic Settlement Association (DORSA) to implement the plan, however, by 1942, due to the difficulties of wartime and refugee selection, there were only 472 settlers.14

On September 5, 1940, the National Refugee Service received a telegram from passengers escaping Nazi Germany on S.S. Quanza, who had been denied entry into Mexico, despite the fact that thirty-five of them only wished to transfer to other ships bound for South and Central America. Razovsky writes, "The only creature on board the ship, who would have been permitted to land was a little Pekinese dog who carried a certificate of entry which the Mexican Government was prepared to honor." S.S. Quanza continued onward to Norfolk, Virginia, where it was scheduled to drop off coal before heading back to Lisbon. Razovsky, now NRS Assistant to the Executive Director; Evelyn Hersey, Executive Director of the American Committee for Christian Refugees; and several attorneys were among the party who met the ship at port. The attorneys served writs of libel on the ship, preventing the ship from sailing until a hearing could take place; and with pressure by various organizations and relatives, the State Department agreed to admit children under sixteen, persons with visas for Central or South America, and political refugees. After each case was heard by the Board of Special Inquiry, all eighty three refugees, sixty-six of whom were Jewish, were allowed temporary entry and were placed under the care of the National Refugee Service and the American Committee for Christian Refugees.15

A few months before Pearl Harbor, the U.S. negotiated the seizure of Japanese, Austrians, Germans, and Italians in Panama with the Panamian Government.16 Jewish refugees, escapees from Nazi terror, were among those arrested and sent to detention camps in Texas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. A detainee writes, "I have been arrested in Panama in the open street by a common police man... without asking me who I am and of what nationality... Neither in Panama nor at any other country, where I lived, I had any kind of political activity or any connection with such matters..."17 Razovsky appealed to the War and Justice Departments to ease conditions for the refugees in the camps and obtain their release. She writes, "... We were able to have the men at Stringtown [Oklahoma] transferred from Camp Blanding, Fla. where their situation was desperate because they had to be with the Nazis constantly and were mistreated. At Stringtown they have separate sleeping quarters although they are still obliged to eat with the Nazis..."18 In February 1943 after State Department hearings, the Jewish detainees and their voluntarily detained relatives were transferred to Camp Algiers in New Orleans; by June approximately sixty were released on parole.19

Razovsky, at that point, was handing in her resignation letter. After changes in NRS board leadership, Razovsky's responsibilities had been downgraded, and faced with a 30% cut in salary and the title of "Consultant," Razovsky resigned from the National Refugee Service on June 15, 1943.20

United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency/American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, 1944-1948

When the allied armies first breached Nazi lines in November 1942 liberating North Africa, plans for an international relief organization were in the works through the newly formed United Nations. While international committees were drafting the new agency's structure, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed New York Governor Herbert Lehman in charge of the Office of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations. In November 1943, 44 nations signed an agreement to establish the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA), with Lehman as its head.21 Razovsky applied to "Governor Lehman's organization" in April 1943.22 Having received no offers from UNRRA, Razovsky went on to work for the Common Council for American Unity, as Chief of Special Services and Editor of their publication "Interpreter Releases." The Common Council for American Unity's mission was to battle intolerance and discrimination towards foreigners living in the United States. She arranged to teach for UNRRA's Training Center in July 1944, and in September, UNRRA officially hired her to serve as a Displaced Persons Specialist for the European Missions Reserve.23

By that time, the Allies had liberated France and U.S. troops had crossed over the defense system built by Hitler, called the Siegfried Line, and entered Germany. In April 1945, the Allies liberated the concentration camp of Buchenwald. Sargent Joseph Eaton, writes, "... The spirit of these men, incarcerated for years or even decades, remains even more striking in my memory. Some, many are wrecked physically and psychically, perhaps for life. But others are preserved, ready to live, ready to inspire those of us, who never had to love life as much as they had to in order to survive..."24

The U.S. Army set up displaced persons camps as a first step in war relief, placing five to ten GI's in charge of thousands. Chaplain Aaron Kahan describes conditions as "pig stys where a thousand people live in a place unsuitable for one hundred. The food provided is of the same calibre..."25

Willing to face these conditions, Razovsky arrived in London. It was common practice for UNRRA and private agencies to share employees when needed. Therefore, when the AJDC Paris office needed emergency staff, UNRRA officers loaned Razovsky to them. Loaning UNRRA staff to private agencies in France allowed UNRRA to have a presence where none was permitted; French authorities refused to allow UNRRA to manage displaced persons within French borders.26

Razovsky worked for AJDC Paris from February 1945 until her return to the United States at the end of June. In Paris, she set up a Central Location Bureau for France, organized a Personal Service division for emergency relief, arranged the reunion of fifty displaced children with their relatives now in the United Kingdom, supervised casework for groups of displaced persons in various French camps, and arranged transit visas for children traveling through France to embarkation ports in Portugal and Spain. She was among the relief workers who accompanied the first contingent of children released from Buchenwald into temporary care in France and Switzerland. Many of these children emigrated to Palestine.27

By May 1945, Razovsky was suffering from the effects of a poor diet and living conditions and appealed to her superiors to send her home. In July, she arrived in New York where she spent the next few months speaking on behalf of UNRRA at an UNRRA luncheon, a Providence Section, NCJW meeting, and for the Margaret McDonald radio show. Still feeling the ill effects of her overseas work, she went on leave from UNRRA for three months, eventually resigning from the agency on February 1946. By then, she had accepted a position with the AJDC as Director of Emigration for Germany and Austria.

Conditions in German DP camps remained deplorable and increasingly overcrowded, as Jews fleeing anti-Semitism in their native lands infiltrated the American zone. These Jews were not considered displaced by war under the classification made by UNRRA authorities, and care for them fell solely to Jewish organizations. According to Judge Simon H. Rifkind's (advisor to General Dwight D. Eisenhower) report, issued in April 1945, there were approximately 100,000 Jews in all of the zones of Germany and Austria. Furthermore, negotiations with military authorities delayed AJDC workers from arriving in Germany and Austria until a month after VE-Day, in June 1945. Once established, the AJDC was able to supplement the DPs' basic needs provided by the UNRRA, shipping clothes, food, medical supplies, and religious and educational supplies. The 80 AJDC staff in Germany and Austria also served as a liaison between the Jews and the occasionally anti-Semitic U.S. Army, UNRRA, and local governments. American Jewish Year Book reporter Geraldine Rosenfield writes, "In this capacity the staff on numerous occasions served as trouble-shooters," thereby alleviating many difficult situations."28

Soon after her arrival in Germany, Razovsky was in an automobile accident involving an army truck that sent her to the hospital for several weeks. After she recovered, she continued setting up emigration offices in Bremen, Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart in order to assist DP's immigration under President Harry Truman's directive.29 The directive, issued on December 22, 1945, reopened immigration to the United States by allowing a maximum of 39,681 refugees and displaced persons in American zones, with the highest quota coming from Germany, to enter the country each year. No other country had yet offered the refugees asylum. Due to shipping and consular personnel shortages and other technical reasons, the first immigration did not occur until May 1946, when the S.S. Marine Flasher and the S.S. Marine Perch sailed from Bremerhaven with 1,361 refugees and displaced persons.30 Razovsky describes the sailing preparations, "... After much agitation, including a threatened hunger strike by the passengers, the Army agreed to increase the rations to the American standard of 2300 calories..."31

Returning to New York in September 1946, Razovsky quickly set out again to Brazil with her husband, Dr. Morris Davidson. Having last visited Brazil in 1937 in order to evaluate German refugee conditions for the NCC, Razovsky now toured the country along with Rabbi Isaiah Rackovsky, speaking on behalf of the AJDC for its annual fundraising campaign. The Comité Auxiliar do Joint, a new Brazilian agency that had began its activities in June 1946, was now administering the $250,000 campaign, which had previously been managed by the São Paulo Jewish Congregation. Luis Lorch, Vice President of the Comité Auxiliar, remembered Razovsky from her 1937 visit and he cabled the AJDC New York, requesting a "powerful popular effective speaker Yiddish masses... preferably woman to address women maybe Razovsky who left excellent impression..."32

Jacob B. Lightman, head of the AJDC South American Office, which had formed in 1943 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, soon asked Razovsky to extend her stay in Brazil by a few months, in order to help organize a small regional AJDC office that would handle transmigrants en route to other countries and new Brazilian immigrants.33 Before leaving for New York in December 1946, Razovsky reported, "... Jewish emigration to Brasil was suspended during the war and during the dictatorship. It has now been resumed... up to about six weeks ago, and we can count upon about a thousand Jewish emigrants, new arrivals in Brazil, during 1946, of whom about one third are transits going to other Latin American countries. There has been no Jewish emigration into the Argentine. The democratic forces in these countries are weak, and liberals have very little power to cope with the administrative officials who are often anti-semitic."34

In March 1947, Razovsky began working as a consultant for the Citizen's Committee on Displaced Persons, an organization that formed specifically in order to pass bills liberalizing immigration for DPs. Razovsky traveled to various communities, including Michigan and Missouri, addressing the public on the DP issue and meeting with immigration agency representatives. Unfortunately, the Citizen's Committee's lobbying efforts were not fully successful, and the most promising bill, the Stratton bill (H.R. 2910), was not passed. In lieu of the liberalized wording of the Stratton Bill, Congress passed the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, which intensified already existing restrictions concerning race, national origin, and occupation; and increased the waiting and red tape involved in processing applications. The DP Act of 1948, however, represented a new approach to immigration; for the first time, each immigrant needed to have his employment and housing arranged in advance.35

A year later, the Davidsons moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where Dr. Davidson worked as an ophthalmologist for Veterans Administrative Hospital. In between working six months for the Family Service Association, a travelers' aid service, and volunteering for a number of local civic agencies, such as Community Chest, Jackson Juvenile Council, and Veterans Administrative Hospital, Razovsky "retired." At the same time, she arranged to speak from March to April 1948 on behalf of AJDC throughout the South, for annual fundraising campaigns. She wrote to Tilly Davis, the AJDC Speakers Bureau representative, "we are comfortable here, a cute little cottage. I am a busy housewife part of the day…and I must say it is an easy way of life, if one can forget the world."36

United Service for New Americans, 1950

Razovsky briefly came out from retirement when she was offered a temporary position as a Field Specialist for the United Service for New Americans (USNA). The USNA was the result of a 1946 merger between the NRS and the Service to Foreign Born of the NCJW. The USNA national services included port and dock reception, temporary shelter, resettlement, research for locating relatives and friends, financial aid, and vocational guidance and placement. Its affiliate was the European-Jewish Children's Aid, the successor agency to the German-Jewish Children's Aid. Razovsky worked under the USNA's Community Relations Department, and was responsible for visiting local Jewish family agencies and civic leaders in the Southwest Region, which was comprised of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and most of Texas. As a member of the field staff, Razovsky relayed to local communities information concerning USNA policies, new developments in immigration legislation, advice on improving immigrants' services, assistance with budget planning, and mediation between local communities regarding responsibility for immigrants who made unauthorized moves to the new community. Field representatives also provided significant information regarding the local cities and Jewish communities they visited to USNA headquarters, imparting facts, resources, attitudes, and the immigrants' experiences through field reports.37

Razovsky stayed with the USNA from March until November 1950. Her position was eliminated due to budget cuts following a decrease in immigration. On July 21, 1952, the final shipload of a total of over 400,000DP's and German expellees arrived in the United States. 16 percent of the total number of DP's were Jews.38

In 1951, Razovsky accepted an invitation by the NCJW to become a member of their National Committee on Overseas Service. In 1954, when the Davidsons visited Israel and then Brazil for a medical conference, Razovsky reported to the Overseas Committee, "... Unfortunately there has been a decided split in the [Brazilian] community since the establishment of a Jewish State. The Federation of Jewish organizations, composed of perhaps forty agencies, is prhaps [sic] 80% Zionistic in their approach to all social problems of the community, the rest are either indifferent to the needs of Israel, or actually antagonistic..."39

From March until February 1956, the Davidsons were living in New York. Razovsky, a long-standing member of Hadassah, and having been the Vice President of the Jackson, Mississippi chapter, worked as assistant editor of the Hadassah Newsletter. She also helped edit Lyman Cromwell White's upcoming book, 300,000 New Americans. In 1957, Dr. Davidson retired from Veterans Administrative Hospital and the couple relocated to Austin, Texas. Razovsky assisted the Board of the American Friends of the Hebrew University, researching potential Texas cities that would host a fundraising dinner held in honor of the Jewish Mayor of Dublin, Ireland, Robert Briscoe. She also worked part time as an Executive Secretary for the Jewish Community Council of Austin and continued her speaking engagements on behalf of the UJA, Hadassah, and other organizations.40

United Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Service, 1957-1958

At the age of 70, when many would be enjoying an easy retirement, Razovsky undertook the demanding position of Supervisor of Resettlement and Integration of Refugees for Brazil and other countries in Latin America, working for the United Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Service (HIAS).

Brazil, which had absorbed more post war Jewish immigrants than any other Latin American country, was experiencing a sudden influx of Hungarian and Egyptian Jewish refugees. The Hungarian Revolt of 1956, in which thousands of Hungarians rebelled against the Hungarian Communist Government, resulted in 13 percent of the Hungarian Jewish population fleeing the country. The Revolt, lasting from October 1956 until January 1957, was crushed by massive Soviet armed intervention.41 In Egypt, rising nationalism and growing support of Communist policies led to a strengthening of ties between the Egyptian-Syrian-Saudi Arabian Defense Pact and the Soviet Bloc. Egypt's growing support of Communist regimes caused the United States to withdrawal its offer of financial support in building Egypt's Aswan Dam. EgyptianPresident Gamal Abdel Nasser retaliated by nationalizing the Suez Canal. Coupled with these events were increasing tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and on October 30, 1956, Israel invaded the Sinai desert. Great Britain and France soon joined Israel's battle, demanding an international status for the Suez Canal. Pressure from the United Nations on the three countries led to troops withdrawing from Egypt by January 1957 and the formation of a U.N. Emergency Force in the Suez Canal. Egyptian Jews, the largest Jewish community in any Arab State, were being banned from employment and threatened with arrest, detention, and exile. By the end of September 1957, more than half of Egypt's50,000 Jews fled.42

In 1956, HIAS, Brazil's sole Jewish immigration agency, sponsored 311 Jewish immigrants. This figure rose to approximately 3000 in 1957, when Brazil, the second largest Jewish community in Latin America, accepted ¾ of the total Jewish refugees immigrating to the continent.43 In a letter to Read Lewis, Executive Director of Common Council for American Unity, Razovsky wrote; "... this to me is the most important characteristic of Brazil their acceptance of people regardless of race or color is most admirable, and a solace to persons like us who so keenly felt the attitudes of the Mississippians and Texans regarding Negroes and Mexicans..."44

The Davidsons lived in São Paulo, Brazil for eleven months, beginning in May 1957. Razovsky's main duty was to supervise the Conselho de Assistencia Social, the local agency subsidized by HIAS. This task included supervising social workers, improving work efficiency, training volunteers, representing HIAS at other organizational meetings, and establishing a clearing bureau. As the large established Jewish communities in São Paulo and Rio Janeiro became overwhelmed with incoming immigrants, HIAS looked for additional, smaller Jewish Brazilian communities to direct the refugees, and Razovsky determined case distribution. In July and August 1957, Razovsky assisted in opening HIAS offices in Porte Alegre and Belo Horizonte. Immigration work was additionally conducted in Curitiba, under the auspices of the Porto Alegre office. Dr. Davidson, as an Honorary Representative, assisted Razovsky with researching settlement opportunities and reporting the information through HIAS country profile reports.45

Brazil was in the midst of an economic crisis; its rapid industrialization, which threw the rural natives off balance, gave rise to increasing inflation, low wages, and a high cost of living. Despite the economic uncertainty, Jewish refugees were generally able to find work. Egyptian Jews, who were generally upper-class, well educated and skilled, also added easily to Brazil's large Middle East population. The Hungarian Jews, who beyond losing their country and their jobs had often lost loved ones, had a more difficult time acclimating to their new life. However, as Razovsky wrote to friends; "... the Hungarian women take jobs at once, or make jobs, sewing gloves, or baking pastries and peddling them in office buildings, whereas the Egyptian women, upper middle class, never worked in their lives, (some actually never washed a dish or a pair of stockings,) find it hard to believe that it is now necessary for them to put their shoulder to the wheel..."46

In 1957, approximately 1000Hungarian and Egyptian refugees were admitted to other Latin American countries. Argentina, the largest Jewish community in Latin America, had become a haven for Nazis escaping from Europe under Dictator Juan Peron. The overthrow of Peron's government in 1955 and the resulting democracy opened up Jewish immigration, but limited settlement to areas outside of Buenos Aires and other large cities. In 1957, 300 Jews with permanent visas, mainly Egyptians, Hungarians, and North Africans, arrived in Argentina under the auspices of HIAS and Soprotimis (Sociedad de Protección a los Immigrantes Israelitas).47

Lima, Perú, home to 90% of the country's 3000-4000 Jews, assisted in the immigration of fifty Jewish families in 1957. The Davidsons visited Lima from January 17 to February 7, 1958 in order to set up a HIAS office under the auspices the local Jewish Federation, the Associacon de Sociedades Israelitas del Peru, which linked the Sephardic, Ashkenazi and German Societies. Peru's then liberal government, under President Manuel Prado, was nonetheless indifferent to promoting immigration, furthermore, the country's severe economic depression limited potential resettlement to family reunion cases. Razovsky reported, "... the entire Jewish community is sensitive to Peruvian reaction towards possible immigration, claiming there is much anti-Semitism here. Some are fearful that if many immigrants come, there will be more open anti-Semitism displayed."48

Colombia, suffering also from a poor economy and having recently elected a Liberal Party President after four years of military rule, was not interested in opening up immigration. The little immigration permitted leaned towards Catholic immigrants, due to the country's deep Spanish Catholic influence held over from its early Spanish colonial beginnings and the Conservative Party's alliance with the Church. In 1957, Colombia allowed fourteen Hungarian, Egyptian, and Polish Jewish immigrants to enter; all but one couple being family reunion cases. Colombia's total Jewish population numbered approximately 9,000; more than half of which were located in Bogotá. The Davidsons visited Bogotá from February 7 to February 13, 1958, gleaning information for the country's profile and soliciting funds for HIAS, however, they had difficulty persuading the separate factions of Jewish groups to raise funds for any other purpose besides Israel. Among the leaders Razovsky met with during her short time there was Ambassador Alberto Gonzalez Fernandez, who served as the Latin American representative for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.49

The Davidsons returned to Lima, Peru; for six days, trying to secure an allocation check, and then continued onward to Santiago, Chile, where they stayed from February 23 until March 13, 1958. Geographically isolated, and one of the smallest countries in South America, Chile had few immigrants until 1910, when the Transandean Railroad and later the Panama Canal were completed. Jews began arriving in large numbers after World War I; in 1956, the Jewish Chilean community celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Consisting of approximately 30,000 people, with 27,000 Jews living in Santiago, the Jewish community focus on Zionism was, as Razovsky reports; "so strong that 90% of the Jews have contributed continually to Israel since 1918, even though... many of the Jews have to be reminded to close their shops on Yom Kippur." Despite the Chile's high cost of living and low wages, Razovsky did not have difficulty obtaining financial support for HIAS; the 300 Hungarian Jews, out of the total 450 Hungarians that had arrived in 1957, had relied strongly on HIAS services. Razovsky writes, "The Hungarians who come here are mainly former High School teachers, professional, a few merchants, practically all intellectuals who had been accustomed to a high standard of living. An altogether different group from those who had come to São Paulo..." Few Egyptian Jews arrived in Chile, primarily due to the preferences for certain types of skilled workers required under Chile's immigration policy. Although Chile's immigration law contained no quotas or racial or religious discrimination, preferences existed for immigrants coming from Spain, Italy, Germany, France, and Holland.50

Following their visit to Chile, the Davidsons made arrangements to travel to Bolivia where their adopted daughter lived. Their daughter, whose name remains unknown, warned them of an impending Bolivian revolution, and informed them that many Jews were leaving the country. The Davidsons thus went on to visit Asunción, Paraguay, where they stayed for one week in order to ascertain information for the country's profile. In 1958, Asunción, Paraguay was home to the country's 1500 Jews, many of which were either World War I immigrants or DP's who had fled to Paraguay's open borders and stayed. Thousands of other DP's went through Paraguay on towards Argentina or Brazil, where there were better wages and an organized Jewish community. The Asunción Jewish community, with no Rabbi or shochet (ritual slaughterer), traveled a thousand miles to Buenos Aires for High Holiday services and for kosher meat. Unable to subscribe funds for HIAS, the community was willing to take immigrants and pleaded for "a family -Polish or East European-where the head of the family could act as their religious leader (schochet, cantor, etc.)..." The extreme poverty in Paraguay, the result of geographic and cultural isolation, dictatorships, and wars and revolutions, nonetheless contained a kind, friendly, and warm society where as Razovsky described; "This is the first county where we were not warned to lock our doors at the hotel, or to beware of pickpockets to prevent thievery. The newspapers carried no stories of murder or violence such as we encountered in Colombia, and to a certain extent, in Perú and Chile."51

The Davidsons then returned to São Paulo, Brazil, where they stayed from March 20 until April 5, 1958. They revisited Lima, Peru;, where Razovsky discovered that "the Jewish Community had undergone a revolution. The entire Zionist Organization blew up, whether by spontaneous combustion or how, no one knows..." The completely new group of leaders however, fortunately recognized the Jewish community's former HIAS pledge.52 Leaving Lima, Peru; on April 11, 1958, the Davidsons arrived in Quito, Ecuador where they stayed for two days. Quito, Ecuador, one of the oldest cities in South America, was home for 1,000 Jews, a remnant of the 3,000 DP's that had escaped to Ecuador's open borders from Germany in the 1930s. Razovsky reported, "... Many of them send their children to the United States to be educated so there are very few adolescents and only about 100 children below the age of 14 left in Quito..." In 1957, eight immigrants, four from Israel, had come to Quito to join relatives. Since the Jewish Federation in Quito, the Beneficiencia Israelita, had already doubled each member's monthly contribution for the year in order to complete a Jewish Community Center, the Federation's President postponed funding for HIAS. The community, wishing to grow, was particularly interested in receiving Egyptian immigrants whose language and other skills would be highly employable.53

The Davidsons spent one day revisiting Jewish leaders in Bogotá, Columbia before continuing on to spend two days in Panama, where it can be assumed, the couple confirmed donation pledges for HIAS. Beno Klein, a HIAS staff member based in Brazil, had previously completed a country profile on Panama in March 1958. He writes, "Panama is a focal point of Man's migration making it a melting-pot of all races and nations - and an attraction of both adventurous and solid business..." The Jewish community, composed of approximately 1,500 members, was a mixture of descendants of the Portuguese-Spanish Inquisitions (approximately 300-400 people); Eastern Europeans and Germans that migrated between World War I and II (approximately 200 people); and Sephardic Jews from Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Mandate-Palestine and Iraq (approximately 700-800 people). In addition, Jewish Civilians and U.S. Army personnel based in the Canal-Zone numbered approximately 400 people. Despite the established Jewish communities, located mainly in Panama City, with other families in Colon and a few smaller towns, and the country's flourishing economy and liberal immigration policies, no influx of Jewish immigrants had occurred beyond a few Egyptian families arriving to join relatives. Klein writes, "This country has been overlooked as an immigration outlet, presumably, because of her dreaded climate which has a worse reputation than it really deserves..."54

The Davidsons then proceeded to their last stop, Mexico City, Mexico, where they spent two days, again the writer assumes, to solicit HIAS funding. They then returned to New York on May 3, 1958, where they spent some time in their house on Fire Island, New York before resettling in Austin, Texas. In July 1959, the Davidsons revisited Mexico, perhaps for a vacation or a medical conference, and were once again called upon by Israel Jacobson to help with HIAS business. Razovsky investigated the condition of the HIAS Representative in Mexico City who was rumored to have suicidal tendencies (she found him capable of performing his duties) and gathered information for Mexico's country profile. She also attended a meeting of voluntary Mexican Agencies regarding programming for World Refugee Year.

Razovsky found that many leaders of the Jewish Mexican community had "an obvious indifference to UHS [HIAS] and its work in Mexico. People who are interested in helping relatives join them go to one or two special attorneys who help them and who charge high fees..." From January through May 1959, an estimated fifty-six Jewish immigrants had been admitted into the country despite the fact that the political party in control for the past twenty-five years, the Partido Revolucionario Institutional, was "officially" opposed to immigration. Many of the Jewish immigrants came from Syria and about 12 were Egyptian. Mexico, poor and with a turbulent political history, had broken away from rigid Church domination with the adoption of its 1917 Constitution, and was in the midst of rapid industrialization. The members of the Jewish community (Razovsky's estimate ranged from 25,000 to 35,000) were given equal status and were mainly involved in light industry. 90% of the Jewish population lived in Mexico City, with smaller communities existing in Monterrey, Guadalajara, Taluca, Pachuca, and Puebla.55 Many of the Jewish leaders in Mexico City agreed with the government's view towards immigration, as Razovsky describes; "... They live in beautiful homes, as you know, and there does not seem to be that warm intense interest in the situation of Jews elsewhere, which is found amongst Jews in other lands."56

Last Years

The Davidsons returned to Austin, Texas in August 1959, where they took courses at the University of Texas and in January 1960, visited Venezuela to attend a medical conference. Razovsky wrote to Israel Jacobson; "We have never been to Venezuela and Morris is especially interested to round out his studies of Latin America... Morris has in mind a book; he has been encouraged to write it by editors of publications to whom he had submitted some of his material." When she returned from Venezuela, Razovsky served on the United Nations Speakers' Services for World Refugee Year and as Secretary for the Austin Committee for Refugees. The couple planned to return to Brazil in March 1960 to conduct research for Dr. Davidson's book, but it appears they postponed their trip and Dr. Davidson's book may never have been published.57

In October 1961, the Davidsons moved to El Paso, Texas, as Razovsky wrote, "a frontier town with all the zest and exhilaration of a border city with its exoticism and unexpectedness..." Dr. Davidson opened a free clinic downtown and Razovsky volunteered, first as caseworker and later as Associate Director, for the Social Service Department of the Jewish Community Councilwhere she convinced its Board to hire a social worker. She also helped create and served as Chairman for the El Paso Committee for Cuban Refugees, in anticipation that there would be an influx of refugees coming into El Paso; however, the immigration officials directed the migration into Brownsville and Houston and her committee became inactive.58

At the request of an old friend, Read Lewis, Executive Director of the American Council for Nationalities Service (ACNS), Razovsky completed a detailed report on Mexican immigration into El Paso. Between 1933 and 1934, Razovsky had worked for the Common Council for American Unity, a predecessor agency to ACNS, as editor of the Common Council's bulletin Interpreter Releases. Lewis wished to determine if ACNS should open an International Center in El Paso, and in Razovsky's usual manner, she threw herself full fledged into her work. Despite Razovsky's detailed and lengthy report, and her persistent efforts to arrange free building space in the community, the project may not have been launched.59

In 1963, the Davidsons visited South America for what would be Razovsky's last time, stopping in Mexico City, Mexico; Lima, Perú; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and other cities in Brazil. Beginning their trip in Mexico City, Mexico on May 4, 1963, where they stayed for a week, they revisited old contacts, attended special events, and talked with the local people and professional scholars in order to determine social and political changes. Although Mexico's economy was stable, the peasants were very poor, there was much political corruption, and many young people wished to learn English in order to obtain jobs in the United States. Among the individuals they visited was the HIAS representative, still in his post, that Razovsky had investigated for his state of health in 1959. The HIAS representative stated that the Mexican government was "loathe" to take Cuban refugees unless they held transit visas for the United States. They also attended a program held at the Institute of International Law of Mexico honoring Israeli Ambassador to Mexico, Mordecai Schneerson, where they heard a "purported Jewish Mexican Indian (he looked Indian) who sang in poorly pronounced Yiddish."60

Arriving in Lima, Perú on May 12, 1963, where they stayed for two weeks, the Davidsons found Limato be more developed despite the country's continuing high inflation. Razovsky learned no new Jewish immigration had occurred recently and anti-Semitism still existed in rumors such as Jewish domination of the economy. The couple had many interesting discussions with old and new contacts concerning the poverty among Indians, the differences between the Indian culture and history in Mexico and Peru, and the government's desire to combat illiteracy. They toured a nunnery involved in welfare work, the National Catholic Welfare Office that handles immigration cases, the National Library, the School of Social Work, and two Indian barrios. Upon seeing Indian women and children clad in rags, and their "wrecked miserable huts," Razovsky writes; "As we stood outside the priests house... and looked at the children many crying for food-we were heartsick and CR prayed for a Jane Addams- to arouse the women of Lima to try to improve conditions on a national scale..."61

On May 26, 1963, the couple arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for another two-week stay, where they experienced the country in the midst of a military takeover and terrible inflation. Razovsky discovered that many of the Hungarians who had arrived in 1957 had either returned to Hungary or had immigrated to other Latin American countries. Middle class workers were leaving for Europe and the United States; the Argentine government had not paid its workers in three to four months. The Davidsons attended a seminar held at by the Sociology Congress, where speakers were "freely worrying" about the military takeover, the lack of Argentinian leadership, and the transition from a Church to a secular society. The Jewish community was deeply troubled over the neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism in some of the running political parties. Razovsky writes, "everyone is fearful and wants to get out. Very little music, dancing, cheerfulness. Everyone somber." Razovsky lectured on international social casework and internal migration for the National School of Social Work. She writes; "BA [Buenos Aires] know very little about post war experiences in Europe since they did not work with UNRRA." She also spoke to a leadership training class on Jewish international casework at the Jewish center, HEBRAICA.62

From June 9 until November 19, 1963, the Davidsons lived in Brazil. For the first two weeks, the couple stayed with their dear friends Ludwig and Luisa Lorch in São Paulo, whom they had first met in 1937 when Razovsky evaluated conditions for German refugees in Brazil for the NCC. Razovsky first stop was the HIAS office, where she was welcomed by several of her former colleagues. She also met with her good friend Susanna Franks who asked Razovsky to conduct a volunteer training course for the Liga Feminina (Brazil's NCJW). The couple then spent two weeks in Rio de Janeiro, where they met with friends, and where Razovsky visited the CIME office, attended lectures at the Academy of Letters and a seminar at the Catholic School of Social Work, and visited another school of social work and the Indian Embassy. Following, the couple spent nine days touring Bela Horizonte, Ouro Preto, Brasilia, and Salvador da Bahia before returning to Rio de Janeiro on July 23, 1963 for an additional three-week stay. There, Razovsky attended a Congress held by the International Association of Family Welfare with her friends Susanna Frank and Flora Levine. On August 13, 1963, the couple returned to São Paulo for a month's stay. Razovsky visited several welfare agencies, among which was the Confederación Evangelista, which managed immigration port reception and integration. Apparently there was little immigration into Brazil, and the social worker she spoke with was working on a colonization project to settle dispossessed squatters. The Davidsons toured the Albert Einstein Hospital, still in its construction phase, which was "to be a showplace to show Brazilians Jews are grateful for having been given refuge in Brazil." She attended seminars at the School for Social Work, and visited the Conselho de Assistencia Social that she had been in charge of in 1957. The couple spent five weeks in Campos do Jordão, where they heard news of strikes and a threat of martial law occurring in São Paulo. They left Campos do Jordão for São Paulo, relieved that no martial law was instituted, but were welcomed with a taxi strike. Razovsky writes; "As MD [Dr. Morris Davidson] put it Brazil is having a cold civil war-strikes every day-middle class fighting government and labor." On October 30, 1963, they were forced back to their hotel upon seeing 10,000 strikers marching. They returned to El Paso, Texas on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. She writes, "Shall we ever know the whole truth? Except that the organizations preaching hate are to blame!!"63

The Davidsons' return to the United States did not signal an end to their traveling. Choosing San Diego, California as a retirement site, the Davidsons moved into a studio apartment close to San Diego State College on November 30, 1963. During this time, Razovsky wrote her manuscript, "Forty Thousand New Brazilians," which tracked the Jewish community's progress in Brazil through Razovsky's visits there that occurred in 1937, 1946-1947, 1954, 1957-1958, and 1963.

She sent the manuscript to several colleagues, asking for editorial comments and suggestions for possible publishing venues, however, it does not seem that she sent the manuscript out to publishers. In June 1964 the Davidsons attended two welfare conferences in Los Angeles; they then visited San Francisco and lived for a month in Berkeley. Razovsky writes, "We are now trying to decide where to go when we leave Berkeley around the 26th--Dallas? El Paso? San Diego? Wash? Chicago? Montreal? Brazil?" They chose to visit Razovsky's brother Robert in Dallas in September 1964, then flew to El Paso for a week and returned to San Diego on October 22, 1964. They were "too sick and weary" to attend the funeral of Maury, Razovsky's brother, who died on October 25, 1964 in St. Louis, Missouri. The couple moved out of their studio into a more luxurious apartment in San Diego in December 1964.64

Both Razovsky and Dr. Davidson began to suffer from health problems. In April 1965, Razovsky had surgery, perhaps for ovarian cancer, in Los Angeles. Dr. Davidson suffered from two hemorrhages in one of his eyes. Razovsky writes, "I wish we were in Dallas so family can comfort us..." By January 1966, Dr. Davidson could no longer use his right eye and Razovsky needed to read for him.65

Razovsky still kept active in immigration affairs. In 1967, she was serving as Chairman of the International Committee for Social Work, which was formed under the San Diego branch of the National Association of Social Work. In what seems to be her last documented project, Razovsky was trying to construct an agency in San Diego to handle problems of Mexican-Americans and aliens.66

After a lifetime of service in social work and immigration relief, Razovsky succumbed to a long illness, and at the age of 81, she passed away on September 27, 1968. She was survived by her husband, two brothers (Robert Ross in Dallas, TX and Julius Razovsky in St. Louis, MO) and her sister Malcka R. Sterns in Tel Aviv, Israel. In a poignant obituary, Ralph Segalman from Austin, TX writes:

Cecilia's death is a loss to all of us, not because of her Jewishness, which was positive; not because of any extraordinary behavioral science knowledge or social work skill, but because of her heart and her concern for people, which unfortunately are all too hard to find among our professional colleagues... She was one of the last of a fast disappearing breed-namely those who are sincere in their concern for others-not just those in their clinic but those who are 'out there' and need to be helped, and even those who don't know that they can be helped..."67


May 4, 1886Born in St. Louis, MO to Minna (Meyerson) and Jonas Razovsky.
1904-1917Volunteered as a teacher and a club leader for the Jewish Educational Alliance, St. Louis, MO
1909-1917Taught evening classes to foreigners in public school for the St. Louis Board of Education
1911-1918Handled cases of delinquent children as an employment attendance and probation officer for St. Louis Board of Education
April 1918-1920Enforced the child labor law as an inspector for the Child Labor Division of the US Children's Bureau in Washington, D.C.
1921-1932Hired as Executive Secretary of the National Councilof Jewish Women's (NCJW) Department of Immigrant Aid
1921-1930Edited NCJW's The Immigrant
1922-1934Appointed Associate Director of NCJW. Publishes What Every Emigrant Should Know.
1923Surveyed conditions for Jewish refugees in European ports.
September 1923Appointed as one of NCJW delegates to the First World Congress of Jewish Women in Austria, and chaired its session on migration
1924Visited Cuba to study refugee conditions and plan a community center. Her report helped NCJW obtain funding to create a model refugee program in Havana.
1925-1935Secretary, Jewish Committee for Cuba
1926-1929Published What Every Woman Should Know About Citizenship. Served in different capacities for the National Conference of Social Work: 1926 Vice chairman of Division X, 1927 Chair of Division X, 1928 Chair of Conference on Immigration Policy.
1926Reported on Jewish refugees in ports in Juarez, Mexico and Canada.
1927Weds Dr. Morris Davidson.
1929Served as an official delegate to the International Association for the Protection of Migrants, an advisory committee to the League of Nationsin Geneva, Switzerland.
1930Reported on Jewish refugees conditions in ports in Tia Juana, Mexico.
1930-1937NCJW Representative for the Joint Legislation Committee of national organizations interested in immigrant legislation.
1931Visited Soviet Russia to study socialservices.
1932Chairman of committee to study effect of increased fees National Council on Naturalization and Citizenship; author of Handicaps in Naturalization (Congressional Record 1932), published by the National Council on Naturalization and Citizenship) that caused Congress to reduce naturalization fees; Represented NCJW at the World Conference of Jewish Women (Vienna, Austria); Member of Committee on contact with Jewish communal agencies and committee for social work for aliens at the International Conference on Social Work (Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany); appointed by Jane Addams.
1933Chaired committee of 12 specialists appointed by Secretary of Labor Perkins to advise Committee of Forty-Eight on Ellis Island and other port conditions.
1933-1936Served as Chair on General Committee of Immigrant Aid at Ellis Island and NY Harbor.
January 1934Created a document at NCJW citing the need for a coordinating agency (she calls it "American or Emergency Joint Bureau for German Refugees"). This agency becomes the National Coordinating Committee.
1934Loaned to the National Coordinating Committee by NCJW, served as Executive Director. Also served as Executive Secretary of the German-Jewish Children's Aid.
1937Accompanied by her husband on trip to various Latin American countries to study immigration possibilities. Reported on port conditions in Brazil and Argentina. Served as Secretary for the General Committee of Immigrant Aid at Ellis Island and NY Harbor.
1938Making Americans, published by the National Council of Jewish Women.
June 1939Witnessed the debarking of S.S. St. Louis, a ship holding 930 Jewish Refugees that was denied access to Cuba. Tried to maintain the Refugees' morale and prevent suicide attempts.
1939National Refugee Service created, Razovsky served as Director of the Migration Department.
1940Participated in the establishment of a refugee haven in Sosua, Dominican Republic.
August 1940Promoted to Assistant to Executive Director of NRS
September 1940Negotiated, with the help of Evelyn Hersey (Executive Director, American Committee for Christian Refugees), the admission of SS Quanza into the United States, after being denied landing rights in Mexico.
June 15, 1943Resigned from NRS following a change in board leadership.
September 1943-October 1944Worked as Chief of Special Services and Editor of Interpreter Releases, Common Council for American Unity, NY.
October 1944-July 1945Appointed as a Displaced Persons Specialist for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). Loaned by UNRRA to the Paris headquarters of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC).
July 1945-September 1945Returned to New York and worked as a Consultant for the UNRRA Public Information Division, addressed various groups on behalf of the UNRRA.
October 1945-February 1946Arranged a leave without pay. Resigned from UNRRA on February 14, 1946
February 1946-September 1946Worked as Director of Emigration Operations for Germany and Austria for the ADJC.
October 1946-December 1946Visited Brazil, Argentina, and other South American countries on behalf of AJDC.
March 1947-1948Worked as a Consultant for the Citizens Committee on Displaced Persons.
1948Retired to join husband in Jackson, MS, where Dr. Davidson worked as an ophthalmologist at the Veterans Hospital. Spoke on behalf of AJDC annual campaign in the South. Worked temporarily at the Family Service Association and volunteered for local civic agencies such as Community Chest, Jackson Juvenile Council, Veterans Hospital (American Red Cross), and others.
March-November 1950Comes out of retirement to work as a field representative for the United Service for New Americans. Visited six southern states to encourage Jewish communities to accept family refugee quotas and to assist with problem cases.
1954Visited Israel and Brazil.
February-June 1956Worked as Assistant Editor for the Hadassah Newsletter in New York.
1957-1958Moved to Austin, TX. Worked as a South American Resettlement Supervisor for the United Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Service. Visited Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru.
December 1960Studied Cuban Refugees fleeing Castro in Tampa, FL, for the United States Committee for Refugees.
January 1961Attended the conference called by the U.S. government to plan a resettlement program for Cuban refugees fleeing Castro that was held in Miami Beach, FL. Among those refugees she found several families whom she assisted in Cuba in 1924.
Fall 1961Moved to El Paso, Texas, where Dr. Davidson resumed his practice. Volunteered for Social Service Dept. of Jewish Community Council.
1963Revisited Latin America, at invitation of friends she had worked with in her previous visits: in Mexico City, Lima, Peru, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, São Paulo, and Brazil. Led training courses in social service for volunteers, and addressed faculty members and graduate students at various schools of social work.
1964Moved to San Diego, CA.
September 27, 1968Passed away at age 81.
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Scope and Content Note

The papers of Cecelia Razovsky (married name: Davidson) documents the immigration worker's involvement in immigration and refugee relief from the early 1900's to the 1960's. The collection also contains material from her personal life and published works. Among the organizations Razovsky worked for include the National Council of Jewish Women, National Refugee Service, German Jewish Children's Aid, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, United Service for New Americans, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Service, and Citizen's Committee on Displaced Persons.

Significant correspondents include Jane Addams, Louis Brandeis, Carrie Chapman Catt, Joseph P. Chamberlain, Philip Cowen, Alberto Gonzales Fernandez, Israel Jacobson, Max Kohler, Herbert H. Lehman, Rosa Manus, James G. McDonald, Henry Morgenthau Jr., Frances Perkins, James Rice, Joseph S. Shubow, Edward M. Warburg, and Stephen S. Wise.

The papers are valuable to researchers studying the following aspects of Jewish immigration in the United States: Eastern European influx in the early 1900's, German refugees during World War II, U.S. detention camps and resettlement of World War II refugees, and local resettlement efforts for World War II refugees in the Southwest. The collection also pertains to the study of relief work conducted in displaced persons camps in France and Germany; and evaluations of countries for resettlement, particularly in the West Indies, Central America, and South America. Of interest is material relating to Razovsky's efforts to organize women's committees in Brazil and other South American countries, and her work with refugee children.

The papers also contain information on the SS. St. Louis, SS. Quanza, a refugee haven in Sosua, Dominican Republic, immigration activities in England, Shanghai, Greece, Philippines, and Switzerland; anti-Semitism in the United States Army personnel stationed at Displaced Persons Camps; and the Child Labor Law during 1918.

Types of material include correspondence, reports, addresses, published articles, booklets, biographical sketches and resumes, case notes, diaries, flyers, legal forms, lists, manuscript drafts, military passes, minutes, news clippings, plays, photographs, press releases, programs, registration certificates, ration cards, telegrams, transcripts, travel authorizations, and trust agreements.

The documents are mostly in English, though there are some materials in Yiddish, German, Russian, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Spanish.

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The collection has been arranged into nine series:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

For further information, please email:

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, N.Y., 10011

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Related Material

Additional materials related to the Papers of Cecilia Razovsky can be found in following AJHS records and collections:

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Digitization Note

Digitization of the Papers of Cecilia Razovsky (P-290) was supported by a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This collection was digitized in its entirety, with the exception of copyrighted published materials dated after 1923. Such materials can be found in Box 1, Folders 1-2 and 5-7; Box 2, Folders 1 and 4; Box 3, Folders 5-7; Box 4, Folder 5; Box 6, Folders 6-7; and Box 7, Folders 4, 6, and 9. The remaining contents of these folders was digitized. Box 3, Folder 8 and oversized materials from Box 1, Folder 7 and Box 3, Folder 7 are comprised entirely of copyrighted material and were not digitized.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Papers of Cecilia Razovsky; P-290; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY.

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Bibliography (Incomplete)

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Click the box in the request column to open the form that allows you to request a box for onsite viewing in the reading room at the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.


Series I: Personal, undated, 1913, 1917-1946, 1951-1971

English, German, Spanish, and Yiddish.
Boxes 1-2, and Oversized Folder.

Subseries are arranged by subject

Scope and Content:

Series I documents Razovsky's early and later years, her personal correspondence, her biographical information, and her published works. The series is subdivided into the following: Subseries 1: Early Years; Subseries 2: Personal Documents and Correspondence; Subseries 3: Written Works; and Subseries 4: Later Years.

Subseries 1: Early Years, undated, 1913, 1918-1919, 1923-1932

Box 1, Folder 1.

Folders are arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This subseries focuses on Razovsky's early career as Executive Secretary for the National Council of Jewish Women's Department of Immigrant Aid. Additional documentation offers a glimpse into Razovsky's prior positions as Attendance Officer for the St. Louis Board of Education and as Inspector for the U.S. Department of Labor Children's Bureau. Further material concerns her coursework, article publications, lectures, trip to Europe, and the 1932International Conference on Social Work in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany.

The earliest items in the collection are reports written by Razovsky as an Assistant Attendance Officer for the St. Louis Board of Education. A 1912 report investigated children's street trades in downtown St. Louis, and a 1913 report detailed the procedure for issuing employment certificates to children. Razovsky's next position, as an Inspector at the U.S. Department of Labor Children's Bureau in Washington, D.C., is documented through an undated report on the administration of Child Labor Law in D.C., as well as a 1918 business trip authorization form, allowing Razovsky to travel to Virginia to inspect child labor law conditions. During this period, she applied for other positions. Her job applications include a letter written to Helen Winkler, Chairman of the Council of Jewish Women's Department of Immigrant Aid. Razovsky also applied for a government transfer to the Director of Americanization Department of the Interior that may have been for the positions of an industrial supervisor and industrial assistant.

Razovsky attended courses in various schools; her schoolwork records include two English papers with teacher's comments, probably written at the University of Chicago during the summer of 1919; a confirmation of credit transfers from the Registrar at the University of Missouri [See Box 1, Folder 3.]; and a 1930 transcript from the University of Chicago listing her courses taken during the summer of 1919.

Razovsky's work as Executive Secretary and later as Associate Director at the Council of Jewish Women is documented through reports, articles, miscellaneous correspondence, and news clippings. Her reports and articles are titled "Recent Governmental Attitude Towards Migrants," circa 1922; "America's Present Immigration Policy," 1925; "National Conference of Social Work Stresses Immigration Problems," circa 1926; "A Report on the Work of the Bureau of International Service of the National Council of Jewish Women," 1927; "Humanitarian Effects of the Immigration Law," 1927; and "Jewish Settlements in the Western Republics of South America," 1930.

Interesting correspondence includes a 1924 response concerning the condition of emigrants lodging in hostels in Antwerp from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency; a 1924 letter written to Mr. Joseph Bookstaver concerning the lack of opportunities for an immigrant in Canada and South America; correspondence arranging and planning a 1925 lecture Razovsky gave on "Methods of Jewish Immigrant Aid Work in America and Abroad" for the Training School for Jewish Social Work; a bibliography of sources to assist students attending her lecture; correspondence from the Seattle and Nashville sections of the Council of Jewish Women, regarding case studies in follow-up work; a third page of a 1927 letter appealing for financial assistance to Joseph Hyman of the Joint Distribution Committee; requests from Jewish Social Service Quarterly and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency for articles focusing on Latin America; a 1929 confidential letter from Attorney Max Kohler to Mrs. Joseph E. Friend, President of the National Council of Jewish Women concerning a survey performed by the Jewish Bureau of Social Research; and correspondence from Jane Addams, Dr. W. Polligkeit, and Sophonisba P. Breckinridge at the University of Chicago planning the 1932International Conference on Social Work held in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. Various news clippings report on lectures Razovsky gave at the National Conference of Social Work and the Phoenix section of NCJW as well as the publication of her book What Every Woman Should Know About Citizenship.

Other items of interest within the subseries include a 1925 essay by Henrietta Wolff on Americanization and a undated personal letter Razovsky wrote to her sister Malcka (whom she calls Malckan), describing her trip to Europe and particularly her experiences in Riga, Latvia.

See also: Series I: Personal, Box 1, Folder 3, Personal Documents and Memorabilia; and Series II: National Council of Jewish Women.

11Early Yearsundated, 1913, 1918-1919, 1923-1932
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Subseries 2: Personal Documents and Correspondence, undated, 1920, 1928, 1940-1947, 1953-1967

English, Yiddish.
Box 1, Folders 2-4.

Folders are arranged by format.

Scope and Content:

This subseries includes Razovsky's biographical summaries, resumes, and obituaries; her personal documents; her memorabilia; and her personal correspondence.

Razovsky wrote the biographical sketches and resumes (Folder 2) between 1919 and 1967. There are several versions available; including detailed federal employment applications she completed in 1947 for a social work positions in Dallas, Texas or Mississippi. Of interest is a 1964 statement of how she first became interested in immigration. Three obituaries complete the folder. For additional obituaries, see Box 2, Folder 4. For Davidson's curriculum vitae, please see Box 1, Folder 3.

Folder 3 contains personal documents such as a 1928 book contract for Stories of Foreign Born Children in America and a 1953 certificate of membership to the American Association of Social Workers. The personal effects of World War II are apparent through an affidavit Razovsky filed in 1940 for her cousin in France, Jacques Zatvan that includes a cover letter and required copy of the list of Savings Bonds she and her husband owned. Dr. Davidson completed an application for information on relatives and friends in Russia in 1944. The folder also contains letters of recommendation, one signed by Governor Herbert H. Lehman in 1942, and curriculum vitae for both Razovsky and Davidson, each dated 1960. In 1957, Razovsky applied to attend a creative writing conference at the University of Texas, and wrote to the St. Louis Board of Education and the University of Missouri for her transcripts, and in 1959 during her trip to Mexico, she attended the Academia Internacional de Espanol for Spanish and a Mexican dance class.

Memorabilia encompasses passes, registration certificates, vaccination certificates, ration cards, and booklets. The earliest is a 1920 Ellis Island Visitation Committee pass. The rest of the memorabilia dates from Razovsky's work as a specialist for the Displaced Personal Division of the United National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Among the items is a registration certificate as an alien in London and a Guide to Assembly Center Administration by the Displaced Persons Branch.

Folder 3 also includes two Yiddish letters written by a cousin of Dr. Davidson's in Israel, Leiv Flax.

Folder 4 contains letters Razovsky wrote to her husband, describing her personal experiences helping displaced persons during her work for UNRRA.

See also: Series I, Box 1, Folder 1, Early Years; Series V: AJDC/UNRRA; Series VIII: United HIAS Service, and Series IX: Photographs.

Note: The records of the NCJW, New York Section, I-469 has a very good photo of Razovsky

12Biographical Sketches and Resumesundated, 1945, 1947, 1955, 1964, 1967
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13Personal Documents and Memorabilia1920, 1928, 1940-1946, 1953-1959, 1960, 1962
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14Personal Correspondenceundated, 1945-1946
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Subseries 3: Written Works, undated, 1917, 1920, 1922, 1926, 1929-1940, 1955, 1962

English and Yiddish.
Box 1, Folders 5-7, and Oversized Folder.

Folders are arranged by format.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains published and unpublished articles, plays, studies and booklets authored by Razovsky.

The earliest published work in this subseries, located in Folder 5, is an article titled "The Season of Love," and was published in The Survey in 1917. Folder 5 also contains published versions of "These Families Want a Chance," and a review Razovsky wrote on a Maurice Kapf book. Razovsky's manuscripts include "Soviet Children Have Their Say About Books" and "Russian Children Learn to Read" an addition to and a translation of a pamphlet she found during her trip to the U.S.S.R. in 1931, and "A Wise and Virtuous Woman" reviewing Pearl Buck's autobiography My Several Worlds. Razovsky's notes on conditions for women in South American countries is of interest and is dated circa 1947. The final item in Folder 5 is an undated manuscript is titled "Locating Relatives" that was written for her family.

Folders 6 and 7 contain published works by Razovsky. A full list is available in the item description.

See also:

Series I: Personal, Box 2, Folder 4, Item #14 "Forty Thousand New Brazilians;"
Box 2, Folder 5 Item #2 and Item #3 "El Paso-The International City".

Series II: National Council of Jewish Women; Box 2, Folder 8, Item #11 NBC Radio Broadcast by Razovsky;

Series III: NCC, Box 3, Folder 5, Item #2 "An Ounce of Prevention" and Item #3 "The Present Status of Jewish Settlement and Jewish Migration to Brazil and the Argentine."

Series III: NCC, Box 3, Folder 7, Item #4, Item #9, and Item #10 memoirs of Razovsky's experience with S.S. St. Louis.

Series IV: National Refugee Service, Box 5, Folder 1, Item #5 "How Does the Refugee Get Here?"

Series VIII: United HIAS, Box 7, Folder 5 "Forty Thousand New Brazilians;"Box 7, Folder 7, Item #11 Speech address regarding Latin America; and Box 7, Folder 7, Item #22 draft "A Quarter Century of Brazil's Progress".

15Miscellaneous Articlesundated, 1917, 1932, 1940, 1955, 1962
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16Published Works About Immigration.1920, 1922, 1926
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17Published Works About Immigration1929-1939

(See also item in oversized folder)

  View the folder 

Subseries 4: Later Years, 1951-1971

English, German, and Spanish.
Box 2, Folders 1-6.

Material is arranged by format and subject.

Scope and Content:

This subseries documents Razovsky's "retirement" years, which were in many ways as busy as her professional life. Razovsky used her contacts in the United HIAS, NCJW, the American Friends of Hebrew University, and the American Council for Nationalities Service, particularly when she was planning a trip to South America, to solicit possible projects. Documented here are reports and letters from her trips to Brazil in 1954, 1958 and 1963, Argentina in 1963, and Mexico in 1959. Razovsky and Davidson were also busy changing their residences; they moved to Jackson, MS in 1948; Austin, TX in 1957; El Paso, TX in 1961; and San Diego, CA in 1964. In addition, the couple owned a house in Fire Island, N.Y. that they sold in 1962. In each community, Razovsky involved herself in local immigration matters and speaking events. Included are correspondence and programs for speaking engagements she held for the United Jewish Appeal in Jackson, MS (Folder 1); Temple Beth Israel in Austin, TX (Folder 1); Austin Chapter of Hadassah (Folder 1 and 3), and the Speakers Services for the United Nations in honor of World Refugee Year (Folder 3). Also mentioned is her work for Hungarian refugees in Texas (Folder 2); reports she wrote on the immigration situation in El Paso, Texas for Cuban refugees (Folder 4 and 5); and her work planning an immigrant service for Mexican-Americans in San Diego, CA (Folder 4). Of interest is the detailed method in which Razovsky completes a project when she helps the American Friends of the Hebrew University plan a fundraising dinner in honor of the Jewish Mayor of Dublin, Robert Briscoe (Folder 1).

Razovsky's continued contacts with women involved in Liga Feminina in São Paulo, Brazil is apparent in letters she received from Luiza Klabin Lorch (Folders 1 and 2) and Susanna Frank (Folder 3). She recommended Brazilian women, one of whom was Susanna Franks, for two NCJW scholarships to bring them to the U.S. for training (Folder 2). Apparently Davidson was working on a book in 1960 about Brazil; it is unclear if his work was ever published. Razovsky also was occupied writing the manuscript "Forty Thousand Brazilians." A draft of her manuscript is included as well as her correspondence to James Rice, Executive Director of United HIAS Service and Alfred Hirschberg for their editorial comments (Folder 4). Folder 6 includes a diary of her trip to South America in 1963. Excerpts from her diary may have been used when writing her manuscript [see Box 7, Folder 5]. There are three immigration case studies Razovsky assisted with, concerning individuals from Brazil (Folders 2 and 4) and Romania (Folder 3).

Additional items consist of a letter Razovsky wrote to Hon. Alberto Gonzales Fernandez, congratulating him on his appointment to the President of Columbia's cabinet (Folder 2); a memo from Israel Jacobson, United HIAS Service, writing of the urgent need for community studies for new immigrants (Folder 1); a letter to Reader's Digest enclosing an anecdote Razovsky remembered concerning Albert Einstein (Folder 4); and a form letter Razovsky wrote to her friends after her surgery in 1965.

See also: Series VIII: United HIAS Service.

  View the folder 
22CorrespondenceApril 1958-May 1959
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24Correspondenceundated, 1961-1965, 1967-1971
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25Survey of El Paso, Texas and Related Correspondence1961-1962
  View the folder 
26Diary of Trip to South America1963
  View the folder 
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Series II: National Council of Jewish Women, 1924, 1927-1937, 1939

English, German, and Russian.
Box 2, Folders 7 and 8.

Folders arranged by subject.

Scope and Content:

This series contains correspondence, case notes, reports, press releases, a transcript of a radio broadcast and an address, and legal forms that Razovsky collected from her work at the NCJW. Additional material is available in Box 1, Folder 1.

Box 2, Folder 7 consists of documents surrounding the Katznelson family case. Mrs. Katznelson, who lived in Cuba, contacted the NCJW to help her collect worker's compensation insurance upon the death of her husband, who died in a work related accident in New York. Razovsky agreed to act as guardian for the Katznelson's two children, allowing the children to keep the money in trust until they reached 21 years of age.

Box 2, Folder 8 focuses on the situation that arose in Nazi Germany. Among the documents are protests by non-Jews, consisting of a copy of a resolution adopted in June 1933 by the National Conference of Social Work in Detroit, letters dated September 1933 from Rosa Manus (Dutch feminist) to Carrie Chapman Catt (suffragist and founder of the Protest Committee of non-Jewish Women Against the Persecution of Jews in Germany), and a letter dated October 1933 from Monsignor Keegan, Secretary for Charities to the Archbishop of New York to Razovsky concerning a recent meeting of the Conference of Catholic Charities.

The remaining items in Folder 8 demonstrate Razovsky and NCJW's importance to German refugee relief. Reports written by Razovsky include "Field Service Committee Report on German Jewish Situation," dated October 9, 1933, that describes NCJW's role in assisting German Jewry and NCJW's collaboration with Jewish and non-Jewish agencies. The report mentions the formation of a Joint Clearing Bureau. In January 1934 Razovsky recommended an outline for an Emergency Joint Bureau, a precursor to the National Coordinating Committee. Razovsky addressed Mrs. Arthur Brin, President of NCJW with a plea to "begin to work at once" and "the life and faith of human beings are at stake" in a cover letter dated April 26, 1935. Enclosed is a report from the Triennial Convention in New Orleans, titled "Project for Adult German-Jewish Refugees [and] German-Jewish Children." Mentioned within the report is the transplanting of families, scholarships for retraining, homes for children, and a milk fund for Paris refugee children. Razovsky reports on NCJW services to the Board of Directors in November 20-22, 1935, specifically in the areas of dock service, Ellis Island assistance, follow up aid, deportation, international service, National Coordinating Committee, German-Jewish Children's Aid, and legislation. A report by the Chair of German Refugee Projects, Hilda A. Wolff, in December 23, 1937 includes short histories of nineteen urgent scholarship cases.

The issue of deportation is further touched upon with a letter duplicated to Razovsky from D.W. MacCormack, U.S. Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization. Dated May 19, 1936, the letter is a response to Heywood Broun from the New York Telegram's attack against the Kerr-Coolidge bill. MacCormack defends deportation regulation citing "the law in so far as it deals with aliens of good character was absolutely inflexible." MacCormack further addressed the National Conference on Social Work in May 26, 1936, contemplating "What Would Happen If All Aliens Were Deported?" An untitled, unauthored report dated December 14, 1936 delineates the issue of hardship cases and deportations and the need for discretion.

Razovsky and NCJW worked to stimulate public interest in the German refugee situation. Razovsky gave an NBC radio broadcast on July 9, 1934 titled "The United States and the German Refugees." NCJW issued a press release "Saar Plebiscite to Increase Number of Refugees, Aid Committee Head Says," on November 27, 1934. An announcement of Razovsky's address at a meeting of the Jewish Forum Association, titled "The Migration of Jews From Germany" appeared in October 1937.

Praise for Razovsky is apparent in correspondence from various sources. MJK (possibly Max J. Kohler) describes Razovsky and the NCJW as "a very important factor" in German Jewish immigrant relief and details Razovsky's committee appointments in a letter written to Eugene S. Benjamin of the Baron de Hirsch Fund, dated December 12, 1933. Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, writes on behalf of Col. Daniel MacCormack, thanking Razovsky for her work in the Ellis Island Committee, dated July 24, 1934. The most telling appreciation for Razovsky is evident in a letter from Blanche Goldman, Chair of the Executive Committee of NCJW on October 23, 1936. Ms. Goldman writes, "as you recall, you were loaned to the National Coordinating Committee and we would like to know when we may count on your return."

See also: Series I: Personal, Box 1, Folder 1 Early Years; Series I: Personal, Box 1, Folder 2 Biographical Sketches and Resumes; and Series I: Subseries 3: Written Works.

27Involvement in Katznelson Family Case1924, 1927-1932, 1939
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28Refugee Relief Work - USA1932-1937
  View the folder 
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Series III: National Coordinating Committee, undated, 1930, 1937-1940, 1961, 1967

English, German, and Spanish.
Box 3, and Oversized Folder.

Folders are arranged by subject

Scope and Content:

This series contains correspondence, reports, case notes, newspaper clippings, and blank immigration forms concerning the NCC, a coordinating agency representing approximately twenty refugee relief organizations in which Razovsky served as Executive Director. The NCC later was merged into the National Refugee Service.

Box 3, folders 1-4 consist of correspondence from Razovsky and NCC staff written in response to requests or offers of help from Jewish social service agencies and individuals. Much of the correspondence concerns case files of German refugees trying to obtain affidavits and get on the quota system to secure visas. The item list below for Box 3, Folders 1-4 includes only significant letters and is not a complete item list. Among the correspondents is Louis Brandeis (Folder 1), Jack Brandon of the Joint Relief Committee in Havana, Cuba (Folders 1-4), Joseph P. Chamberlain (Folders 1, 2, and 3), Philip Cowen (Folder 4), Henry Morgenthau Jr. (Folder 3), Joseph S. Shubow (see Folder 3), Edward M. Warburg (Folder 4), A.M. Warren, Chief of the Visa Division for the U.S. State Department (see Folders 2, 3, and 4), and Stephen S. Wise (see Folders 1, 2, 3 and 6). The issues NCC managed included investigating sources of affidavits (see Folders 1 and 2), finding employment for refugee physicians and Rabbis (see Folders 1, 3 and 6), locating scholarships for German refugee students (see Folder 3), planning agricultural and farm settlements (see Folders 1 and 4) attempting to get visas for concentration camp internees (see Folders 2, 3 and 4), planning to relocate groups of elderly people (see Folder 3), and intending to set up an immigration relief system in Canada (see folders 2 and 3).

The NCC was permitted to bring only 20German refugee children per month into the United States (see Folders 3 and 4). Razovsky writes in a letter dated December 23, 1938 to Armand Wyle, of the Hebrew Orphan Home in Atlanta, GA; "... There is terrific pressure here in this office. We are getting thousands of inquiries about children…" (see Folder 4). A report abstract from the Movement for the Care of Children from Germany, British Inter-Aid Committee dated May 18, 1939 is located in Folder 6. Razovsky writes to Mrs. Andrew Fried, of the District Grand Lodge No. 2 on November 21, 1938 (eleven days after Kristallnacht); "... We have had at least 1300 callers each day this past week; a thousand letters a day come in; there are many hysterical people in the office - the atmosphere is tense and feverish..."(see Folder 2).

The NCC explored quota limits and refugee situations all over the globe; frequent countries discussed include Cuba, Brazil, and Argentina. A report titled "General Survey of the Refugee Situation in Cuba" was issued by Jack Brandon of the Joint Relief Committee in Havana, Cuba on November 15, 1938 (see Folder 2). Razovsky writes to the Joint Distribution Committee on November 29, 1938 "... There is no doubt that Buenos Aires needs a strong person to go down and organize the community..." (see Folder 2). Ann S. Petluck writes to Razovsky on November 18, 1938 regarding immigration procedures in Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, and Australia (see Folder 2).

Folder 5 is dedicated to information on emigration to the West Indies, Central and South America and consists of correspondence, articles, and reports. Articles consist of "An Ounce of Prevention" written by Razovsky on how to prevent anti-Semitism in Latin America and "Brazilian Business" concerning immigrants helping Brazil's economy. Reports are numerous, the most voluminous are titled "The Present Status of Jewish Settlement and Jewish Migration to Brazil and the Argentine," by Razovsky in 1937; and "Summary of Information Received by the New York Agencies on Local Refugee Conditions in The West Indies, Central and South America, " unidentified author, dated May 1, 1939. Additional material on Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Peru is located in Folder 6.

Folder 6 also contains correspondence and reports from various refugee relief projects. Among the items of interest include a statistical statement of NCC activities throughout the U.S. in July 1938. Emigration information is available for England, Greece, Philippines, and Switzerland. The Jewish situation in Italy is reported on by the American Joint Distribution Committee and sent to Razovsky on December 2, 1938 (see also Folder 3). An "Eye Witness Report of Rescue Activities of J.D.C. at Polish-German Border" is dated November 18, 1938. Razovsky compiled various case studies and correspondence from refugees, the latest date mentioned is November 30, 1938.

Folders 7 and 8 focus on the tragedy of S.S. St. Louis, a steamer carrying 930 Jewish refugees that was turned away from Cuba and forced to return to Europe to reface the horrors of the Holocaust. Folder 7 contains undated, 1939, and 1967 news clippings and articles in German, Spanish, and English; 1939 correspondence from Joseph Chamberlain and Razovsky updating the refugees' situation; a letter in 1961 from reporter S.L. Schneiderman thanking Razovsky for her reminiscences; and several manuscript versions, including an undated news clipping, of Razovsky's retrospection of her experiences. Folder 8 consists of Spanish news clippings, dated June 1939, from various newspapers. Additional information concerning the SS St. Louis is available in Folder 4 (see list of passengers, dated June 2, 1939; and correspondence dated June 5 and 6, 1939) and Folder 6 (see letter from Joseph Chamberlain dated June 15, 1939).

See also: Series IV: National Refugee Service; Series V: AJDC/UNRRA; and Series VIII: United HIAS Service for immigration to South America.

31Correspondence re: National Coordinating Committee - Aid for German RefugeesNovember 1-November 9, 1938
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32Correspondence re: National Coordinating Committee - Aid for German RefugeesNovember 10-November 30, 1938
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33Correspondence re: National Coordinating Committee - Aid for German RefugeesDecember 1-14, 1938
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34Correspondence re: National Coordinating Committee - Aid for German RefugeesDecember 15-28, 1938, January-June 1939
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35Refugee Relief Work - Refugees to South Americaundated, 1930, 1937-1940
  View the folder 
36Refugee Relief Workundated, 1938-1939
  View the folder 
37St. Louis Incidentundated, 1939, 1961, 1967

(See also item in oversized folder).

  View the folder 
38St. Louis Incident Newspaper ClippingsJune 1939request_box
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Series IV: National Refugee Service, undated, 1939-1945

English, German, and Spanish.
Boxes 4 and 5.

Folders are arranged by subject

Scope and Content:

In June 1939, the National Coordinating Committee was merged into a new organization called the National Refugee Service. The NRS centralized and expanded refugee efforts, adding additional departments. Razovsky served as Director of the Migration Department of NRS and later as Assistant to Executive Director.

This series contains a wide variety of material pertaining to refugee relief. Types of formats include affidavits, application forms, articles, biographical statements of detainees, correspondence, memorandum, passenger lists, visa application lists, detainees lists, minutes, news clippings, reports, telegrams, and trust agreements.

Box 4, Folders 1-3 concern the Capital Loan Committee, of which Razovsky was a member. The Capital Loan Committee began to function on October 15, 1939 and was a successor to the Rosenwald Capital Outlay Fund of the National Coordinating Committee. Loans, granted from funds from the American Joint Reconstruction Foundation, a subsidiary of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, financed businesses' and individuals' vocational training. Material consists of agendas and meeting minutes that are composed of detailed loan applications and reports. Minutes include the name of the applicant, case history, and amount loaned. Among the types of proposals are farms, clothing manufacture and retailing, theatrical productions, musicians and actor training, scholars, student scholarships, cosmetic manufacturing, boarding houses, and physician and dentist practices. For a detailed description of the Capital Loan Committee, see the report attached to a cover letter dated February 16, 1940 (see Folder 2). The report dated December 31, 1939, written to the American Joint Reconstruction Foundation, describes the Capital Loan Committee activities, statistics, purpose of loans, and type of loans.

Plans and negotiations to establish a refugee haven proposed by General Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic are contained in folders 4 and 5. NRS assisted the Dominican Republic Settlement Association (DORSA), an agency created and sponsored by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Folders 4 and 5 contain reports, correspondence, telegrams, news clippings, meeting minutes, trust agreements, articles, passenger lists, visa application lists, and blank application forms. The progress of this project is well represented, from the beginning geographic, historical, and demographic research on the Dominican Republic, to the debate over refugee selection, the negotiation and cancellation by the Dominican Republic regarding temporary asylum, and Italy's refusal to issue transit visas, thus cutting off the route to the Dominican Republic. The main figures in the negotiations are Razovsky, Director of the Migration Department and William Haber, Executive Director of NRS, James N. Rosenberg, President and Rebecca Hourwich Reyher, Executive Secretary of DORSA, General Rafael Trujillo, and George L. Warren, Executive Secretary of the President's Advisory Committee on Political Refugees. Folder 4 includes applications made to DORSA and NRS by refugees' relatives, many of them prominent Americans, for temporary asylum in the Dominican Republic. An April 13, 1940 article from The Nation, titled "Caribbean Refuge," by Freda Kirchwey, theorizes as to why Trujillo is so eager to have Jewish refugees (see Folder 5). Rosenberg's letters to Joseph A. Rosen, DORSA Vice-President, dated May 23 and May 27, 1940, regard a Mr. Moreno who is bootlegging Dominican visas (see Folder 5). "A report to the Trustees of the Maintenance Trust Agreement Account in New York," dated September 2, 1941 lists statistics, financial statement, a list of sponsors, and a copy of the final maintenance trust agreement (see Folder 5).

Material on a proposed relocation and settlement plan in 1939 on the Isle of Pines Estate in Cuba is in Folder 6. It includes a letter dated November 29, 1939 from Edwin C. Jones, Public Relations Counselor for the Isle of Pines Trust Estate to Frances Taussig, Jewish Social Service Association asking for her reaction to the project; a detailed report on the project; an interviewer's form, an application, and a memorandum of agreement.

Folder 7 focuses on Jews interned at Detention Centers in Seagoville, Texas; Camp Kennedy, Texas; Camp McAlester, Oklahoma; and Camp Forrest, Tennessee. Many of the Jews were interned in Panama; some were under the jurisdiction of the British government having been interned in Honduras. In February 1943, several internees were transferred to Camp Algiers, Louisiana, others received interim parole, and the British subjects were returned to Honduras. Folder 7 includes lists of detainees in various camps, including whole families with very young children. The majority of items in the folder are detailed biographical statements made by individual internees. In addition, correspondence concerns descriptions of Panama's political anti-Semitism, the release of the Jews from British Honduras, and the low morale of the detainees in Camp Algiers, LA.

Folder 8 contains reports and memos Razovsky wrote to Albert Abrahamson, NRS Executive Director. Razovsky reported on NRS monthly statistics and her visits to the Department of Justice and State Department in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Subjects of these reports include individual cases, recent immigration legislation, refugees interned in U.S. camps, and the Jewish Cultural Activities Committee.

Box 5, Folder 1 contains correspondence, memorandum, and reports concerning relief work conducted by NRS from 1939-1940. A significant amount of material pertains to refugee children. Correspondence between Razovsky; Luiza Klabin Lorch from the Liga Feminina in São Paulo, Brazil; and Kaete Rosenheim from the Reichvereinigung der Juden in Deitschland in Berlin, Germany center upon Rosenheim's search for escape avenues for refugee children. Razovsky sends her information describing the proposed Sosua Estate in the Dominican Republic, looks into the Philippines as a possible option, and refers her to Lorch, who is appealing to a reluctant Brazilian government to accept refugee children. Additional correspondence includes a letter dated July 30, 1940, in which Lorch describes Liga Feminina and the children's home established in São Paulo to Mrs. Louis Feigenblatt, who is trying to start a women's organization in Costa Rica.

The general refugee situation in Central and South America is also discussed in Box 5, Folder 1. A report of the SS Quanza incident (see September 16, 1940) describes how the ship was turned away from Mexico despite the fact its one hundred passengers carried permanent or transit visas. A detailed immigration report on Mexico's policies is dated October 30, 1939. Frederick W. Borchardt and Adolfo Hirsch issued additional reports on refugee situations in Buenos Aires, Chile, Bolivia, and Uruguay (see summary dated May 26, 1940). The occasional "cold shoulder" the U.S. Consul in Bolivia shows to refugees is discussed in a letter from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in La Pax, Bolivia, dated August 23, 1940.

Razovsky's personal and family requests in Box 5, Folder 1 consist of a memo dated July 26, 1940, from William Haber, promoting Razovsky from Director of Migration Department to Assistant to the Executive Director. Dr. Davidson's surgery is mentioned in letters dated May 8, 1940 and July 9, 1940. Razovsky forwards the affidavit of her cousin Jacques Zatvan in Paris, France to the American Consul in Paris (May 9, 1940). She later encloses affidavits for Dr. Davidson's two sisters in the U.S.S.R. (December 6, 1940).

Additional items of interest in Box 5, Folder 1 include a Migration Department report, dated October 1939; memos assigning HIAS, NCJW and NRS' specific immigration activities (see January 6, 1940 and January 15, 1940); minutes from NCJW, New York section, dated August 28, 1940 discussing individual immigrant cases; a report, "On the European Refugees in Shanghai" dated April 1940; and a NRS memo in December 1940 concerning illegal immigration cases.

Box 5, Folder 2 contains correspondence, memorandum and reports pertaining to relief work NRS conducted from 1940-1945 and includes Razovsky's negotiations with her superiors and eventual resignation as Assistant to the Executive Director of NRS. The relief work focuses on efforts to amend immigration and naturalization laws in order to assist refugees in the United States who have been admitted on a temporary status (see report dated December 1940, and letter dated March 6, 1941). The surrounding issues include visa rejection hearings (see memo and attached report dated January 21, 1942 and report dated February 18, 1942), pre-examinations at Ellis Island (see letter dated February 4, 1942 and memo dated January 8, 1943), changes in procedures to facilitate the naturalization and visa application process (see report dated February 11, 1942, memo dated November 5, 1942, and letter dated December 18, 1942), illegal immigrants (see memo dated March 2, 1943), and deportation (see tables dated January 13, 1943 and report dated May 17, 1943). Reports and memos describe the need for refugees to change their temporary status and provide case studies (see report dated March 23, 1943 and two reports undated).

Razovsky's resignation from NRS in June 1943 was the result of new leadership and reorganization within NRS. Faced with a 30% cut in salary and surrender of control with her new title as "Consultant," Razovsky handed in her resignation letter April 15, 1943. A letter from new Executive Director Albert Abrahamson on July 8, 1941 outlines her responsibilities as Assistant to Executive Director. Her proposed new duties are discussed in letters dated December 28, 1942, January 8, 1943, and January 12, 1943. A negotiation of her resignation date, put off until June 15, 1943 is documented in letters dated May 3, 1943, May 4, 1943, May 4, 1943, and May 12, 1943. Concurrently, Razovsky was preparing for her next step. She asks A.M. Warren, Chief Visa Division writing from the Dominican Republic, to write her a recommendation letter for Governor Lehman's organization (see letters dated March 18, 1943 and April 2, 1943). Governor Lehman's organization, later called the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), hired Razovsky to teach two sessions at their training center (see letters dated July 7, 1944, July 14, 1944, and July 18, 1944). Reference can be made to an undated memo describing the "functions of Lehman Commission."

Additional items of interest in Box 5, Folder 2 include a letter A.M. Warren, Chief Visa Division wrote to Razovsky on March 24, 1941 concerning the immigration cases of her brother-in-law and his family. A fascinating story is reported on April 21, 1941 regarding the Duke of Wurtemburg, now called Father Odo, and his assistant Walter Furnberg who ran an underground railway for refugees before escaping to the U.S. They were currently trying to open a refugee colony in Ecuador. Other items consist of 1941-1942 caseload statistics for the Westchester County Coordinating Committee for Emigres in White Plains, N.Y. (see letter dated November 27, 1942); thank you letters from clients to Razovsky (see dates June 15, 1943 and January 24, 1944); and a report from the Jewish Central Information Office in London describing the status of Jewish refugees in England (see report dated January 1945).

Box 5, Folder 3 centers upon the policies the American government held towards "enemy aliens." In August 1941, three months before Pearl Harbor, Professor Joseph P. Chamberlain, NRS Chairman, prepared memoranda in response to several meetings with immigration officials. Two memorandum, unauthored and undated, occupy Folder 3. The first details recommendations for the treatment of different classes of "enemy aliens," the second provides a background into the procedures and a history of the U.S. government "enemy alien" policies affecting Japanese, German, and Italian refugees. [See also Box 4, Folder 8.]

See also: Series III: NCC; Series V: AJDC/UNRRA; and Series VIII: United HIAS Service for immigration to South America.

41National Refugee Service - Capital Loan CommitteeOctober-December 1939
  View the folder 
42National Refugee Service - Capital Loan CommitteeJanuary-February 1940
  View the folder 
43National Refugee Service - Capital Loan CommitteeMarch-June 1940, December 1941
  View the folder 
44Dominican Republic - Settlement at Sosua Iundated, 1939-1940
  View the folder 
45Dominican Republic - Settlement at Sosua IIundated, 1939-1940
  View the folder 
46Isle of Pines1939
  View the folder 
47National Refugee Service - Jews Interned at Detention Centersundated, 1939, 1941-1943
  View the folder 
48CRD to National Refugee Service to Executive Director1941-1943
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51National Refugee Service - Relief Work1939-1940
  View the folder 
52Relief Workundated, 1940-1945
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53Treatment of Enemy Aliens in wartimeundated
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Series V: American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee/United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, undated, 1946-1950

English, French, German, Spanish, and Yiddish.
Box 6, Folders 1-6.

Folders are arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by subject.

Scope and Content:

This series documents Razovsky's work held in various capacities with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) from 1944-1946 and 1948. Material includes correspondence, a dramatic sketch, flyers, memorandum, a news clipping, pamphlets, personnel forms, press releases, program invitations, receipts, reports, a speech, telegrams, travel authorizations, and a V-mail.

Box 6, Folder 1 contains material from Razovsky's positions as a Displaced Personals Specialist for the European Missions Reserve for UNRRA, which she held from October 1944-October 1945; and as a consultant for UNRRA Office of Public Information, which she held from October 1945-February 1946. UNRRA loaned Razovsky in February 1945 to the AJDC, Paris, France to organize the AJDC's Personal Service Division, a division that focused on the problems of newly released refugees from concentration camps. Box 6, Folder 1 includes travel authorizations, personnel action notices, and salary and expenses reports concerning Razovsky's transfer to AJDC. Razovsky's work is summarized in a biographical sketch (see October 1944) and a work progress report (see February 23, 1945).

Box 6, Folder 1 also documents the experiences of displaced persons as reported by Razovsky, witnesses, and the survivors themselves. A letter written and signed by 115 Jewish refugees from Concentration Camp Natzweiler-Vailhingen/Enz appeals to the French Government to put them in contact with AJDC, Paris (see letters in English and French dated April 14, 1945 and April 20, 1945). Letters written to US military Chaplain Judah Nadich (see letters dated April 22, 1945, May 1, 1945 and May 21, 1945) and a letter and report written by Joseph Eaton (see report dated April 21, 1945 and letter dated May 13, 1945) describe survivors from concentration camps and the inadequate state of relief given to displaced persons. Razovsky's report dated May 25, 1945 recounts interviews she had with refugees at a local relief office. In a June 8, 1945 letter, AJDC Assistant Secretary, Louis H. Sobel describes the negotiations, transport, and care, of which Razovsky took part, of 535 children from Camp Buchenwald to Palestine and 350 children to Switzerland. A letter from "Sylia," American Red Cross, to "Alice," Hadassah dated June 9, 1945 narrates her experiences of anti-Semitism in the U.S. Army, and portrays Razovsky as "a frustrated, disorganized woman" and points to AJDC's "ineffectiveness." Razovsky reports on June 26, 1945 on a trip to Thionville where she accompanies a group of children from Buchenwald to a displaced persons camp in Metz. A refugee named Maas bemoans the lack of food given to refugees in France. She writes in a letter dated July 6, 1945, "We are wondering if our allies want us deliberately to die and do their utmost to hasten our death..." A memorandum draft from Fred K. Hoehler, Director Division on Displaced Persons, UNRRA to Governor Lehman on September 19, 1945 recommends counteractions to the harsh treatment of anti-Nazis and Jews still left in Germany.

Box 6, Folder 1 follows Razovsky's last months in France and her diminishing involvement with UNRRA. She complains of her failing health as the result of poor living conditions (see letters dated May 8, and May 12, 1945) and begins her trip back to the States on June 28, 1945. A co-worker, Liselotte, with the words "Bon Voyage!" writes a humorous sketch for her titled; "Scherzo Capriccioso in AJDC Major." Razovsky continues to work for UNRRA while living in New York. She speaks in various venues; gives a series of lectures on the "Relationship of Private Agencies with UNRRA" (see lecture notes taken by Sylvia Milrod, July 25 and 26, 1945); and is selected as Woman of the Week" by the "Radio Newspaper" program and is broadcast on the Margaret McDonald show (see letters dated August 6, August 17, and October 20, 1945). Razovsky goes on leave without pay from UNRRA in October 1945 and becomes a Consultant for the UNRRA Office of Public Information. In 1946, Razovsky assists James G. McDonald in the preparation of an article on the "Refugee Problem" for the World Encyclopedia Institute (see Box 6, Folder 1, letter dated January 10, 1946 and Box 6, Folder 3, January 1946).

Box 6, Folder 2 traces Razovsky's resignation in February 1946 from UNRRA (see letter dated February 10, 1946) to her work as Director of Emigration for Germany for the AJDC, a position she held until September 1946. The folder contains travel authorizations, receipts, and a hotel accommodation authorization listing different locations Razovsky traveled within Germany and France. Razovsky suffers from an automobile accident while traveling to Arolsen, Germany in March and is hospitalized for several weeks (see letters dated April 2, April 4, June 21, and October 8, 1946). Razovsky reports monthly on financial arrangements, statistics, and overall conditions of passengers sailing to the United States on the SS Marine Flasher (see reports dated May 20, June 20, and July 5, 1946) and the SS Marine Perch (see reports dated May 20, and June 20, 1946). Memorandums from Helen Tennenbaum, AJDC, Frankfurt and Ann S. Petluck, United Service for New Americans, discuss plans for elderly displaced persons who have no relatives and wish to immigrate to the United States (see memo dated August 17, 1946). A report of AJDC Representative in Linz, Austria, Harold Nordlicht, summarizes AJDC services in Linz from May to September 1946 (see report dated October 8, 1946).

Box 6, Folder 3 contains reports, articles, an address, and correspondence regarding the situations of displaced persons. James G. McDonald's article, written in January 1946, most probably for the World Encyclopedia Institute, defines refugee, describes the history of Jewish refugees, and the effects of World War II (see also Box 6, Folder 1, January 10, 1946). Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein, on leave from Temple B'rith Kodesh in Rochester, New York to serve as an advisor to the U.S. military, addresses the relationship between the military and Displaced Persons and states; "Palestine is the major hope" (see address dated October 1, 1946). A telegram from Arthur Greenleigh describes the situation of refugee children from Buchenwald and Hillersleben who have recently arrived in France (see telegram, undated). A translated statement by refugees from Camp Buchenwald to the Jewish community in Geneva outlines current problems to forward to Jewish relief agencies (see statement, undated). A report, undated and unauthored, describes how the Nazis "dumped the most miserable, diseased, and humiliated prisoners of other concentration camps," in Terezin. An additional undated report calls the New Czech laws, "Nurnberg Laws in paraphrase." An undated memorandum on the refugees in Germany, written by Sam Herman, Director of UNRRA, summarizes the general refugee situation in Germany.

Box 6, Folder 4 contains pamphlets, correspondence, speaking invitations, reports, lists, and campaign flyers collected by Razovsky from her visit to Brazil and Argentina between October and December 1946. Much of the correspondence is in Spanish. Razovsky and Rabbi Isaiah Rackovsky were sent to various locations in Brazil to speak on behalf of the AJDC annual campaign. In addition to correspondence and invitations concerning Razovsky's speaking engagements, Box 6, Folder 4 consists of several letters regarding immigration work in Uruguay (see letters dated September 13, September 17, October 24, November 7, and November 8, 1946); Argentina (see letters and a report dated October 30, November 26, December 2, and December 9, 1946); and the Dominican Republic (see memorandum dated November 27, 1946). Razovsky spent much of her time in Brazil organizing women committees (see summary dated November 7-26, 1946) and assisting with Brazilian immigration matters (see letters, a memorandum, and a report dated October 30, November 5, December 6, December 9, and December 19, 1946). Razovsky is updated on the situation of Displaced Persons in Germany through letters from Larry Magrath, U.S. Maritime Commission in Frankfurt (see letter dated November 27, 1946) and Sara E. Stein, AJDC Munich (see letter dated October 21 and resent December 1, 1946). AJDC Campaign flyers in Spanish, Yiddish, and English appeal for funds (see flyers undated). A list of Central and South American cooperating agencies for 1946-1947 is located at the back of the folder. Three Brazilian publications concerning Brazilian immigration and the AJDC overall immigration activities are available: a pamphlet, "Sociedade Beneficente Israelita do Rio de Janeiro," September 18, 1945; a pamphlet translated by the British Chamber of Commerce in Brazil, "Complete Text of the Brazilian Immigration Legislation," January 28, 1946; and an issue of Boletin S.O.S. Campanha de 1946, published by the Comite Auxiliar do Joint, September 1946.

Box 6, Folder 5 contains child search reports issued by the UNRRA Public Information Offices in Heidelberg and possibly Munich, Germany in the form of press releases from July 1946 and February to May 1947. The press releases include summaries of search work performed by the UNRRA Child Welfare Service, individual child cases, descriptions of "GI Mascots," and a photograph of a German registry card for a Polish child selected for Germanization.

Box 6, Folder 6 relates to Razovsky's work as an AJDC speaker in the South; she resided in Mississippi from 1948 to 1950. The folder consists of correspondence, telegrams, a news clipping, and reports of Razovsky's presentations on behalf of the United Jewish Appeal campaign as well as Razovsky's application to the Department of State for the Displaced Persons Commission (see letters dated July 9 and July 28, 1948) and her election as an alternate for the Veterans Voluntary Service Hospital Advisory Committee in Jackson, MS (see letters dated December 9 and December 14, 1948). Of interest is a letter from Earl F. Cruickshank, United Nations Representative to Razovsky dated May 10, 1948, in which Cruickshank writes; "I fear that the Palestine situation will grow much worse before there is a rift on the clouds."

See also: Series I: Personal, Subseries 2: Personal Documents and Correspondence. See also: Series III: NCC; Series IV: NRS; and Series VIII: AJDC/United HIAS Service for immigration to Brazil. See also: Series VI: Citizen's Committee on Displaced Persons and Series VI: USNA for correspondence regarding DPs.

61UNRRA Specialist - Displaced Persons1944-1946
  View the folder 
62AJDCFebruary 1946-October 1946
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63Background Material on Life in DP Campsundated, 1946
  View the folder 
64AJDC - Brazil (September-December 1946)undated, 1945-1947
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65UNRRA Child Search ReportsFebruary-May 1947
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66AJDC Speaker1948-1950
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Series VI: Citizen's Committee on Displaced Persons, 1947-1948

English and German.
Box 6, Folder 7.

Series VI is composed of one folder.

Scope and Content:

This series consists of one folder of news clippings, correspondence, and lists pertaining to Razovsky's membership on the Citizens Committee on Displaced Persons, a lobbying and public awareness group that worked on temporarily revoking immigration quotas in order to permit displaced persons to enter the United States. Razovsky gave a series of speeches in Detroit for the Committee in March 1947 (see news clippings and letters dated March 10, March 14, March 24, and April 4, 1947) and becomes the subject of an editorial for the Kansas City Star after addressing the National Travelers Aid Association in Kansas City, Missouri (see editorial and memorandum dated March 6 and March 24, 1948). In addition to Razovsky's speaking engagements, Box 6, Folder 7 contains information on the situation of displaced persons through the following letters: Luiz Lorch, São Paulo, Brazil (in German with an English telegram dated April 11, 1947); William Haber, Adviser on Jewish Affairs for the U.S. Military in Europe, deploring the eviction, based on a technicality, of 2,000Roumanian infiltrees from a Displaced Persons Camp by the U.S. Army (see letter dated March 9, 1948); and Jeannette Gevov, Recording Secretary, International Welfare Group writing to the Displaced Persons Commission, State Department, Washington, D.C., listing recommendations for organizing the DP Resettlement Program (see letter dated August 27, 1948). A "Partial List of Local Citizens Committees Which Have Recently Reported Activities" is dated July 24, 1947. A four-page list in German of displaced persons is located at the end of the folder. Razovsky receives a final settlement check for her automobile accident (see letter dated November 21, 1947. (See also Box 6, Folder 2)

See also: Series V: AJDC/UNRRA and Series VI: USNA for information on DPs.

67Citizen's Committee on Displaced Persons1947-1948
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Series VII: United Service for New Americans, 1950

Box 6, Folders 8-15.

Folders are arranged by state name.

Scope and Content:

At the suggestion of Arthur Greenleigh, United Service for New Americans (USNA) Executive Director, Razovsky is offered a temporary position beginning March 1950 as a Field Representative for USNA's Southwest Region. As Greenleigh writes, "I have felt badly ever since I have been back in harness here that you weren't somewhere in the program..." Razovsky's responsibilities involve a great deal of traveling and are dependent upon the amendment of the DP Act (Box 6, Folder 8, see letter dated March 27, 1950). Despite the amendment of the DP Act passing, the decreased immigration forces USNA to cut back on their staff, and Razovsky's position is eliminated in November 1950 (Box 6, Folder 8, see letter dated October 17 and October 21, 1950). Box 6, Folder 8 contains general correspondence and lists regarding Razovsky's brief term as a Field Representative. A letter from Clara Friedman, Consultant on Community Services to Milton Krochmal encloses a results table from a study of public and medical services offered by fifteen major communities throughout the United States (see letter dated June 16, 1950). Lists of social worker contacts in Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are also in Folder 8 (see note dated January 27, 1948 and lists, undated), as well as a list of Sponsors Committee members for the Southwestern States Regional Conference (see list, undated).

The remaining folders 9-15 in Box 6 concern specific towns in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas that Razovsky visited. The folders include field reports, agency lists, community contact lists, correspondence, and memoranda documenting and summarizing her visits. Razovsky mediated problems with new refugees in the community and encouraged communities to assume a refugee quota.

See also: Series V: AJDC/UNRRA and Series VI: Citizen's Committee on Displaced Persons for information on DPs.

68United Service for New Americans - General Correspondence (1950)1948, 1950
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69United Service for New Americans - Alabama Field Reports1950
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610United Service for New Americans - Arkansas Field Reports1950
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611United Service for New Americans - Louisiana Field Reports1950
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612United Service for New Americans - Mississippi Field Reports1950
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613United Service for New Americans - Oklahoma Field Reports1950
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614United Service for New Americans - Tennessee Field Reports1950
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615United Service for New Americans - Texas Field Reports1950
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Series VIII: United Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Service, undated, 1955, 1957-1958, 1964-1965

English, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Box 7, Folders 1-19, and Oversized Folder.

Subseries are arranged by subject.

Scope and Content:

This series documents Razovsky's position as a South American Resettlement Supervisor for the United HIAS Service that she held from May 1, 1957 to September 1959. The series is subdivided into two subseries: Subseries 1: Brazil and Subseries 2: South America.

Subseries 1: Brazil, undated, 1955, 1957-1959, 1964-1965

English and Portuguese.
Box 7, Folders 1-7.

Folders are arranged by subject.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains reports, correspondence, memorandum, minutes, bulletins, statistic tables, lists of contacts, notes, manuscript drafts, telegrams, addresses, a news article, and a curriculum vitae. The subseries includes Box 7, Folders 1-7.

Box 7, Folder 1 contains two large final reports on Brazil, one dated September 1955, the other, presumably by Razovsky, dated 1957.

Box 7, Folder 2 includes reports, minutes, correspondence, statistic tables, and a bulletin and contains an extensive amount of material on Brazil. The Davidsons' personal impressions of Brazil and their work there are recorded through personal letters to friends and to a newsletter editor in the United States (see letters dated May 18, June 23, August 7, October 13, 1957, and undated). Razovsky serves dual positions: one as a Supervisor of Resettlement and Integration Services and also as a Supervisor of the Conselho de Assistencia Social, a local agency subsidized by United HIAS (see memorandum dated June 26, 1957). Dr. Davidson offers his services as an Honorary Representative, volunteering to research resettlement opportunities in South America (see letter dated September 19, 1957). A letter from I. Dijour describes Razovsky as having a "maybe old-fashioned, but human approach to your new duties." (see letter dated August 27, 1957 attached to memorandum dated November 13, 1957). An example of Razovsky's weekly activities is dated November 13, 1957.

Among Razovsky's responsibilities is the organization of women's committees in several cities in Brazil. A report dated January 8, 1957 describes the activities of the Comite de Imigrantes - Liga Feminina Israelita do Brazil. Reports on Porto Alegre, dated November 1957 and December 6, 1947 mention Razovsky efforts to organize women's committees.

Box 7, Folder 2 also focuses on the United HIAS Service expansion into Brazilian cities outside of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Correspondence and reports document immigration possibilities and their new offices in Porto Alegre (see letter dated July 5; minutes dated July 12; memorandum dated September 17; and reports dated November 1957 and December 6, 1957) and Belo Horizonte (see report dated August 8; letters [in Portuguese] dated November 18, 21 and 31; memorandum dated December 1957; and draft of report dated January 13, 1958). A letter dated August 22, 1957 mentions the possibilities of Uruguaiana, Brazil. Further material relates to immigration activities in São Paulo (see minutes dated July 12; statistics dated August 1957, September 24, November 1, December 3; memorandum dated January 10, 1958; and a report, undated) and Rio de Janeiro (see minutes dated July 12).

Interspersed with the above material on various cities is information on the influx of Hungarian and Egyptian refugees. For additional documents on refugees' nationalities, including immigrants from Israel, please see bulletin dated July 18; letters dated September 10, and October 13; INIC minutes dated November 14, 1957; and statistics dated August 1957, September 24, September 1957, October 28, November 1, December 3, December 19, and December 27.

Additional items in Box 7, Folder 2 include a report on New York refugee relief organizations, dated November 1, 1957; a rabbinical ruling by Rabbi Pinkuss on refugee relief offered to couples of mixed marriages, dated December 9, 1957; a report draft describing the National Institute of Immigration and Colonization (INIC), dated December 14, 1957; and a report on Argentina and Ecuador, undated.

Box 7, Folder 3 contains six activity reports on Brazil dated from May to November 1957. The reports, authored by Razovsky, detail all areas of Razovsky's and the United HIAS Service work and contain statistics listing refugee financial assistance, employment placements, family composition, and education enrollment.

Box 7, Folder 4 focuses on Egyptian Jewish refugees in Brazil and includes resettlement reports, refugee profiles, financial conditions, statistics, and a news article.

Box 7, Folder 5 consists of a draft of Razovsky's manuscript "Forty Thousand New Brazilians." The report historically evaluates the progress of the Jewish communities in Brazil, and centers on Razovsky's impressions from her various visits there, that occurred in 1937, 1946-1947, 1954, 1957-1958, and 1963. Folder 5 also includes a report written by Susanna Frank in 1964. Frank visited Bogota, Colombia and Quito, Ecuador. A typed diary by Razovsky, undated, records the Davidsons' visit to Mexico, Peru, and Argentina.

Box 7, Folder 6 centers on Hungarian Jewish refugees in Brazil and includes statistics and a bulletin.

Box 7, Folder 7, titled Miscellaneous, contains various topics, in addition to Brazil. Telegrams dated January-February 1958 concern Razovsky's visits to other South American countries. A statistics summary, dated April 18, 1958, summarizes by country the United HIAS Service assisted migration. A statement draft, undated, presumably by Razovsky, describes funding provided by the United Jewish Appeal to German refugee doctors studying for their United States medical licenses. A "Report on Refugee Problems," undated, by an unknown author, recommends appointing the Red Cross as a supervising agency for American refugee relief organizations. Comments on this report, by an unknown author follow.

Box 7, Folder 7 also includes material on Brazil that is primarily in the form of undated and incomplete reports. An address for the United Jewish Appeal, undated, by Razovsky, describes her observations in Latin America and particularly Brazil. An undated incomplete report corrects misconceptions of Brazil's economic, geographic, and social situations. Procedures for issuing visas to Egyptian refugees is outlined in an undated report subtitled "'Rescue' Immigration." Razovsky describes newly arrived Hungarian and Egyptian refugees in an incomplete, undated letter to friends. Short summaries on immigration possibilities in Latin American countries are listed in an incomplete, undated report titled "Conclusions About Latin America and the West Coast." An undated, incomplete report by Razovsky titled "Antisemitism in South America," provides a general history on anti-Semitism in South America with a detailed report on Brazil. A draft manuscript, undated, by Razovsky, is titled "A Quarter Century of Brazil's Progress." Razovsky's career is summarized as she is introduced as a speaker to the Conselho in São Paulo, Brazil (see address, undated).

See also: Series I: Personal, Subseries 4: Later Years; Series III: NCC; Series IV: NRS; and Series V: AJDC/UNRRA for additional information on Brazil.

71United HIAS Service - Brazil for Immigration1955, 1957
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72UHS Representative - Brazilundated, 1957, 1958

(See also items in oversized folder.)

  View the folder 
73UHS Representative - Brazil Activity Reports1957
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74Egyptian Jewish Refugees in Brazilundated, 1957, 1959

(See also items in oversized folder.)

  View the folder 
75"Forty-thousand New Brazilians"undated, 1964
  View the folder 
76Hungarian Jewish Refugees in Brazil.1957, 1958
  View the folder 
77Miscellaneous.undated, 1957-1958, 1965
  View the folder 

Subseries 2: South America, undated, 1939, 1955, 1957-1959

English, German, and Spanish.
Box 7, Folders 8-19.

Folders are arranged by subject and country.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains reports, correspondence, memorandum, article, telegrams, daily logs, contact lists, and refugee case lists. The subseries includes Box 7, Folders 8-19.

Box 7, Folder 8 primarily relates to Razovsky's acceptance and the employment conditions of her new position as South American Resettlement Supervisor. A letter dated December 12, 1957 mentions the Davidsons' adopted daughter, who lives in La Paz, Bolivia and outlines the Davidsons' itinerary as they update countries' profiles.

Box 7, Folder 9 includes general correspondence pertaining to travel arrangements, and updates on Razovsky's visits to various South American countries. A memorandum dated April 23, 1958 by Razovsky recommends that overseas staff be completely oriented to the culture of a refugee's country of origin, and that refugees be informed of the positive and negative aspects of their new homes. A report by Israel Jacobson, circa 1958, describes United HIAS Service activities in Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Cuba, Panama, and other South American countries. An article from American Judaism, dated January 1959, is titled "They do Well in South America." Correspondence between Razovsky, Edward Marks (Executive Director of the U.S. Committee for Refugees), and Al Goldstein (Director, Jewish Community Council, Houston, Texas), discuss the "difficult time" Hungarian refugees are having in Texas.

Box 7, Folders 10-19 are titled accordingly by country, and contain material regarding the Davidsons' organization activities and research in preparation of each countries' profile. Drafts and final versions of the Davidsons' and other authors' reports are enclosed. Extensive documentation is available on the Davidsons' visits to Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. Less documented are the Davidsons' visits to Ecuador, Panama and Paraguay. The sole items in the folders for Panama, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Guatemala, and Venezuela are reports by other authors.

See also: Series I: Personal, Subseries 2: Personal Documents and Correspondence; Series I: Personal, Subseries 4: Later Years; Series III: NCC; Series IV: NRS; and Series V: AJDC/UNRRA.

78United HIAS Service - South American Resettlement Supervisor1957-1958
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79UHS Representatives - General Correspondence.1957-1959
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710Profile on Boliviaundated
  View the folder 
711UHS Representatives - Chile1939, 1955, 1957, 1958
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712UHS Representatives - Colombia1955, 1958
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713Profile on Costa Rica and Guatemala1958
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714UHS Representatives - Ecuador1958
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715UHS Representative - Mexico1959
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716Profile on Panama1958
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717UHS Representatives - Paraguay1958
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718UHS Representatives - Peruundated, 1958
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719UHS Report on Venezuela1955
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Series IX: Photographs, undated, 1953

Box 7, Folder 20.
Scope and Content:

Razovsky is pictured in three of the four photographs that comprise this series. The fourth image is an informal wedding photograph of a couple in Germany, circa 1940s. A passport photograph of Razovsky, most likely in her 50s, provides a nice portrait. The two other photographs were taken in her later years; in the first she accepts an award in Oklahoma and in the other she is in the background in a hospital Christmas scene dated 1953.

See also: Series I: Personal, Subseries 2: Personal Documents and Correspondence
Note: The records of the NCJW, New York Section, I-469 has a very good photo of Razovsky.

720Photographsundated, 1953
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Separated Oversized Material in OS1 Shared Folder, 1934, 1957, 1967

English and Portuguese.
17"The Problem of the German Refugees," by Razovsky, The Reform Advocate, pages 329-330.December 7, 1934request_box
37"Voyage to Doom," by Arthur D. Morse, reprinted from While Six Million Died, pages 59-62, 67-70.1967request_box
72Conselho de Assistencia Social, listing statistics regarding assistance to refugees in São PauloJanuary 1, 1957 to August 1957
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74Handwritten notes on the financial conditions of various refugee families.1957
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