Landau (nee Gerson), Ruth Harriet (Civilian)

Accession Number AWM2018.961.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Document, Certificate, Postcard
Maker Various
Landau, Ruth Harriet
Place made Australia, Germany, Poland
Date made 1929-1962
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition, Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the Second World War experience of civilian Ruth Landau (nee Gerson) and her family, Australia, Germany, and Poland, 1929-1962. Ruth Gerson was a Polish-born German Jew, who fled to Australia with her parents in 1939. The documents in the collection relate to her family's experience during the Second World War and the after-effects that they felt.

Folder 1 consists of documents relating to the Gerson family’s life in Germany and their preparations to flee the country. This folder contains:
1 x postcard of a view of a church in Culm (Chelmno, Poland), with "Gersons' home town" inscribed on the verso
1 x German passport for a Rosalie Gerson, issued in 1929, with immigration stamps from Poland
1x German certificate of good conduct, dated 1938
2 x Universal Postal Union identity cards for Siegfried and Lara (Selma) Gerson, dated 19 November 1938
1 x 'landing permit' allowing the Gerson family to arrive in Australia, dated 30 September 1938

Folder 2 consists of documents and letters relating to the Gerson Family’s Second World War experiences after they left Germany and arrived in Australia. This folder contains: 1 x postcard with an image of the passenger ship the Fushimi Maru, while on the New York Line, with a traditional junk boat beside it.
1 x copy of a letter written by Siegfried Gerson to the American Consulate General dated 25 March [1939], possibly looking for passage to the United States
1 x typed transcription of a letter to Selma Gerson from her cousin in San Francisco, dated 26 March, 1939
3 x letters written on German Red Cross pages sent by Selma Gerson to her brothers Herbert (2 letters), and Theodor (1 letter) dating between 20 November 1942 and 29 September 1943
1 x letter from the Australian Department of the Interior dated 26 January 1944 instructing Siegfried Gerson to report to Area 6 Drill Hall in Carlton to serve in the Civil Aliens Corps.
1 x letter from Mr S.M. Arms to the Director General of Allied Works instructing them that Mr Gerson was a skilled employee and requesting that they allow him three months to train someone to carry out Mr Gerson's duties before making him work for the Civil Alien Corps.
1 x Commonwealth of Australia Certificate of Naturalization for Siegfried Gerson, dated 27 October 1944.
1 x Declaration of Acquisition of British Nationality for Selma Gerson, dated 16 November 1944.
1 x letter dated 28 December 1945 to the Swedish department for post-war activities from Mr Gerson responding to a list he had seen in the 'Aufbau' newspaper which mentioned one of his sisters, Berta Gerson, as a Holocaust survivor, and asking after any details of his other two sisters.
1 x letter c.1946 from a Cpl E Lewinsky of the British Army of the Rhine to 'loved ones', discussing friends and relatives that he had located and was trying to locate, as well as noting his frustration with the local non-Jewish population.
1 x letter dated 7 February 1946 from a Theodor Kabaker of Berlin to an Erich Lewinsky (possibly Siegfried's brother-in-law) discussing Erich's mother and aunts, in particular Theodor's friendship with them during the war, and the details he knew of their deportations.
1 x letter dated February 1946 from Theodor Kabaker to the Gerson family discussing a visit from Erich Lewinsky
3 x official documents dated from 1956 to 1962 discussing the disappearance and death of Siegfried's sister Herta, including a death certificate.