Records of the HICEM Office in Prague,
1927 - 1939
RG 245.10

Processed by Gunnar Berg and other members of YIVO staff

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, NY 10011

Phone: (212) 246-6080

Fax: (212) 292-1892

Email: archives@yivo.cjh.org

URL: http://www.yivoinstitute.org

© November 2001YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Gunnar M. Berg as a Wordperfect document. November 1997. Electronic finding aid converted to EAD 1.0 by Dianne Ritchey Oummia. November 2001. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Records of the HICEM Office in Prague
Abstract: Collection consists of records of the HICEM Office in Prague, documenting efforts to assist Jewish refugees from Czechoslovakia. Records include minutes of National Committee Meetings, correspondence from the HICEM office, including with various aid societies, and extensive individual refugee case files.
Quantity: 5 feet, 3 inches (12 5 in. legal boxes, 1 3 in. oversize box, 9 microfilm reels)
Accession number: RG 245.10
Repository: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
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Historical Note

The HICEM Office in Prague was established in 1936 to facilitate relief for the growing mass of German-Jewish refugees in Czechoslovakia. The HICEM office was the successor to the National Committee for Refugees Coming From Germany which coordinated relief work from 1934 to 1936. The National Committee sought to coordinate the activities of the various member groups and present a single voice when dealing with Czech government officials and with the European High Commissioner for Refugees.

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Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the collection consists of files of Marie Schmolka, a HICEM representative, who was also involved with the National Committee and with a number of German-Jewish immigrant groups. Marie Schmolka was killed by Gestapo agents in the fall of 1939 several weeks after she returned from a HICEM sponsored immigration conference in Paris.

The records contain minutes from the National Committee for Refugees Coming From Germany, correspondence of the HICEM Prague office concerning organizational activities and regarding assistance of refugees, and refugee case files.

Many topics are covered in this collection, especially assistance provided to refugees and conferences concerning them, victims of applications of the Nuremberg Laws in Czechoslovakia and Austria, dealings with authorities concerning identity papers, and coordination of activities among aid organizations.

The materials are written in various languages, principally Czech, German, English and French.

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Organization

The records are divided into three series as follows:

Arrangement

Series I and part of Series II is arranged by subject and in chronological order within. Series III is arranged alphabetically by last name.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The records are open to the public with permission of YIVO staff.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact
email: archives@yivo.cjh.org

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Related Material

This collection is a Subgroup of RG 245.

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Provenance

Collection was received in 1955 from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, then known as the United HIAS Service.

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Alternative Form Available

Microfilm Reels MKM 15.135-15.143

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Records of the HICEM Office in Prague; RG 245.10; box number; folder number; YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

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Processing Note

Originally arranged in 1979 with the assistance of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Inventory prepared in 1997 with the assistance of a grant from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, New York

Originally cataloged as Record Group 245.4, Series XXIX.

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Container List

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

 

Series I: Minutes of National Committee Meetings, 1934-1937

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically in forward order.

Scope and Content:

Abbreviated minutes of the weekly meetings of the National Committee for Refugees Coming From Germany.. This group consisted of representatives from the Jewish Aid Committee, the Social-Democratic Refugee Organization, the German Immigrant Aid Committee, the Union of Private Aid Groups and the Democratic Refugee Organization. There are also minutes from meetings of a Childrens Aid subcommittee.

Topics covered in the minutes included: reports from several European conferences on refugees; securing identity papers for stateless refugees; dealings with police authorities regarding victims of the application of the Nuremberg Laws in Germany and similar laws in Czechoslovakia and Austria.

Principal correspondents are Maria Schmolka (Director of the Prague office) and Hanna Steiner.

Reel TitleDate
MKM 15.135 
BoxFolderTitleDate
1Abbreviated minutes of weekly meetings of the National Committee of Jewish-Aid Organizations (Prague). July 4, 1934 - July 14, 1937
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Series II: Correspondence of the HICEM-Prague office, 1927-1939

Arrangement:

Folders 5, 7, 9, 10, and 11 have contents arranged chronologically in forward order.

Scope and Content:

Administrative reports and correspondence regarding: HICEM office operations; efforts to secure lodging, food distribution and visa requests for arriving refugees; activities of other groups in Czechoslovakia (e.g., Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO), Trans-Carpathian Jewish Aid Comittee, Carpatho-Russian Aid Committee, Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden (Germany), the South German Party and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom); European conferences with the International Labor Bureau, Geneva and the High Commissioner for Refugees.

Correspondence with: Czech goverment agencies; American consulate in Prague; HICEM, Paris; High Commission of the League of Nations for Refugees Coming From Germany; AJDC, Mukacevo; Government of New Zealand; various refugee organizations. Correspondence of the National Committee. HICEM financial reports and bookkeeping records.

BoxFolderTitleDate
2Correspondence between the HICEM office in Prague and individuals, other aid organizations, government offices and foreign consulates [many letters in Czech] Jan. 17 - Dec. 15, 1938
3Copies of correspondence from HICEM (Prague) Feb. 26 - Aug. 3, 1938
4Circulating memoranda, from HICEM (Paris) to its affiliates, explaining immigration requirements for various countriesMay 19, 1927 - Jan. 12, 1939
5Materials relating to various international refugee conferences Jan. 16, 1935 - Dec. 28, 1937
6Reports and correspondence regarding aid activities of various Czech groups Jan. 19, 1938 - Dec. 30, 1939.
7Two sets of papers: 1) Minutes of meetings of HICEM, its subcommittees and the Women's committee of the Carpathian-Russia Aid Committee and, 2) Correspondence addressed to local town Women's International Zionist Organizationcommittees regarding clothing drives June 27, 1935 - April 5, 1937 , Dec. 15, 1937 - Oct. 11, 1938
Reel TitleDate
MKM 15.136 
BoxFolderTitleDate
8Copies of League of Nations' documentation and related correspondence and reports 1936-1938
9Correspondence (some handwritten) to Hanna Steiner (Prague office) from Mukcevo (Czechoslovak Republic) offices of the American Joint Reconstruction Foundation and the Orphans-Assistance Society of Trans-Carpathian Russia, regarding emigration out of the Czechoslovak RepublicDec. 20, 1931 - Oct. 18, 1938
10Correspondence and legal depositions regarding a trial of a Dr. Karel Feitenhansl May 27, 1932 - Jan. 22, 1939
11Daily lists of refugees being summoned by the HICEM office in Prague, to obtain emigration affidavits and consular interviews Jan. 31, 1939 - Mar. 8, 1939.
12[This folder not microfilmed]
13Individual emigration expense sheets for specific refugees as well as annual summaries for the Prague office 1936 - 1939
14Correspondence with various organizations and individuals in the Czechoslovak Republic, regarding a milk distribution program for refugee children Nov. 27, 1936 - Dec. 29, 1937
15Correspondence between Prague and various individuals and banks in the Czechoslovak Republic regarding the establishment of an orphans' shelter in the city of Mukacevo (Trans-Carpathian Russia) and setting up bank accounts in various cities May 15, 1936 - Mar. 17, 1937
16Personal correspondence from prospective emigrants and individual expense sheets from refugees being helped by HICEM Mar. 3, 1937 - May 6, 1938
17Accounting ledger sheets and correspondence regarding expenses for individual refugees (some grouping by town of origin) June 30, 1937 - Mar. 31, 1938
18Receipts and accounting correspondence for emigration travel expenses May 25, 1936 - Dec. 31, 1937
19Idem Jan. 3 - Mar. 30, 1938
20Pages from a personal address book; pages from a personal diary with handwritten daily entries of activities and people contacted;stenographic notes from an unknown meeting [authors unknown]. 1938
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Series III: Refugee Case Files, 1936-1939

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically by refugee last name.

Scope and Content:

This series consists of the central files of dossiers of refugees assisted by the HICEM Prague Committee. They are divided into two groups [distinction unknown]: a main body and an Addendum. This listing of individuals was compiled in 1979.

Each file can consist of personal correspondence between the refugee and the Committee, official correspondence with government officials, affidavits from sponsors in the destination country and application forms.

BoxFolderTitleDate
21Ab-Ap
Reel TitleDate
MKM 15.137  
BoxFolderTitleDate
22Ar-Au
23Bac-Bal
24Ban-Bay
25Be-Bi
26Bl-Bo
27Bra-Bru
28Bu-By
29Ca-Cz
30Da-Dy
Reel TitleDate
MKM 15.138 
BoxFolderTitleDate
31Eb-Ei
32Ek-Er
33Fa-Fe
34Fi-Fr
35Fri-Fro
36Fu-Fy
37Ga-Ge
38Gi-Gl
39Gl-Gr
40Gud-Guy
41Haa-Hah
42Haj-Hav
Reel TitleDate
MKM 15.139  
BoxFolderTitleDate
43Hec-Hel
44Ha-He
45Hi-Hl
46Hoc-Hor
47Hub-Hut
48Il-Iz
49Ja-Ju
50Kaf-Kas
51Kat-Kau
52Ke-Kl
53Kl-Ko
54Kohn, A-Kohn, H
Reel TitleDate
MKM 15.140  
BoxFolderTitleDate
55Kohn, I-Kohn, W
56Koh-Koz
57Krak-Krau
58Kre-Krz
59Kub-Kut
60Lab-Lau
61Leb-Lem
62Len-Lew
63Lib-Lit
64Lob-Lop
65Lo-Lu
66Mag-Man
67Mar-May
68Med-Mey
69Mi-Mo
Reel TitleDate
MKM 15.141 
BoxFolderTitleDate
70Mu-My
71Na-Ne
72Neu-Neul
73Ne-Nu
74Ob-Ot
75Pa-Ph
76Pi-Po
77Po-Pu
78Qua-Qui
79Rab-Raw
80Rea-Rei
81Rei-Reu
82Ri-Ro
83Ro-Ry
84Sa-Sc
85Sc-Se
86Si-Sk
87Sl-So
88Sp-Sr
89St-Sz
90Ta-Vo
91Wa-We
92We-Wr
93Ya-Zw
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ADDENDUM TO SERIES III

BoxFolderTitleDate
94Ad-Fu
95Ga-Hu
96Ka-Kw
97La-Os
98Pa-Ry
99Sa-Sc
100Se-Sz
101Ta-Zy
102Pages from five ledger books1936-1939
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