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Renee Aldor Collection

Identifier: AR 10986

Scope and Content Note

The Renee Aldor Collection consists most prominently of family photographs but also holds documentation relating to Renee and Ernst Aldor's emigration, Ernst Aldor's internment in Dachau, and other subjects. In addition to the photographs, a photo album and photographic postcards, various official documents including identification papers and immigration documentation, and some correspondence.

The collection's photographs comprise about half the collection and consist of both loose photographs and a photo album. They include two folders of family photographs. The first of these (1/8) shows Renee Aldor and others; especially prominent are views of family members at various locales in New York City, including in Fort Tryon and Central Parks, but also including several winter and summer scenes. The second folder of family photos (1/9) hold later photographs, with many showing family weddings or holidays, especially Thanksgiving and include some identified photos. Many photos in this folder were taken in San Francisco; others show the gravestones of Renee Aldor's parents. Another folder (1/7) contains photographs and photographic postcards of Bolivia. Although unidentified, most of these seem to be professional photographs, with various scenes of Bolivian residents in traditional dress, landscapes, and buildings; a few are nonprofessional photographs taken of famous buildings or family members posing for pictures. The folder of photographs of tours show unidentified tour groups; postcards (1/11) are mostly blank and are from Morocco, Vermont, Yugoslavia, Warsaw and Greece. Notable is the photograph album from the early 1930s, whose photographs are identified but do not include Renee Fanto or Ernst Aldor. Most of them show family or friends in various outdoor locations primarily in Austria, but also including Germany or Switzerland. Many of these photos depict individuals hiking, camping, swimming or skiing.

Much of the remainder of the collection holds Renee and Ernst Aldor's personal or immigration papers. In the collection's first folder is documentation, especially letters, that refer to his internment in Dachau. It includes a letter by Renee Aldor to the Gestapo while trying to find him once their Bolivian visas had been approved and a letter from Ernst Aldor to the Gestapo requesting an extension of his permission to remain in Vienna while they awaited their ship's departure. The folder also includes two brief notes from Ernst to Renee while he was at the camp. The second folder, whose documents consist entirely of photocopies, holds various anecdotes by Renee Aldor, primarily reminiscences of events in Austria prior to their departure. Such anecdotes include a conversation overheard on a streetcar or comments made in front of a memorial to Maria Therese. Included with Renee Aldor's writings is a 1928 poem for Ernst Aldor by Fritz Gerstl.

Two folders relate to the couple's emigration. The first (1/3) holds various emigration paperwork required for a visa, such as Renee Aldor's passport, identification papers of Ernst Aldor, residence registrations and receipts for fee payments. Documents in Spanish largely relate to their entrance into Bolivia and preparation for immigration to the United States. Included in this folder is a postcard by Richard Fanto to the couple, written while he was in Stanislawow and telling of his life there. The second folder of immigration papers consists of documents attesting to the financial stability of Emil Deutsch, Renee Aldor's cousin and the couple's American immigration sponsor.

Various personal papers of Renee and Ernst Aldor will be found in folder 5. Included is a photocopy of the couple's marriage certificate, Renee Aldor's Austrian Heimatschein, and a certificate of appreciation for her extensive volunteer work at the Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged. An oversized certificate shows Ernst Aldor's membership in the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1957. The final folder of the collection holds exhibition pamphlets for Natalie Stryks, Renee Aldor's sister, as well as 1939 postcards to Walter Stryks in Paris from his father.


  • Creation: 1921-1990s
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1938-1969


Language of Materials

The collection is in German, English, and Spanish.

Access Restrictions

Open to researchers.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Reserve" button.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

Renee Fanto was born December 30, 1900 in Budapest, then part of Austro-Hungary, the daughter of Ignatz and Therese Fanto. By 1920 she was living in Wiener Neustadt. Ernst Aldor was born in Wiener Neustadt on May 30, 1904 and was the son of Jakob Adler and Sidonie Gerstl. From 1922-1927 he studied at Vienna's Technical College (Technische Hochschule); by 1934 he was working as an electrical engineer with his own workshop. Ernst and Renee married on April 5, 1936 in Vienna.

During Kristallnacht Ernst Aldor was arrested and ended up at the Dachau concentration camp. While he was incarcerated there, his wife Renee was able to secure visas for Bolivia and the United States, the latter with the aid of her cousin, Emil Deutsch, who lived in New York. In February 1939 the couple emigrated to Bolivia; in 1944 they continued to the United States. In 1950 they became American citizens.

Renee Aldor died in October 1995 in New York City.


0.5 Linear Feet


The primary focus of the Renee Aldor Collection is on the immigration experience of Renee and Ernst Aldor and Ernst Aldor's internment in Dachau. Documentation on these subjects includes various official documents, including identification papers, immigration documentation, and some correspondence. In addition, about half of the collection consists of photographs, including family snapshots and a photo album.


The collection is arranged in one series.

Digitization Note

The collection was digitized in its entirety except for the oversized materials. All materials that were digitized were made accessible.

Related Material

The LBI Archives and Library include other collections and books on refugees who went to Bolivia. For further materials, users should search the catalog.

Separated Material

Some photographs of Austria prior to World War II were removed from this collection to the LBI Photograph Collection.

Processing Information

During processing of the collection in November 2013, photographs and documents were further subdivided into multiple folders and the folders were placed in alphabetical order.

Guide to the Papers of Renee Aldor 1921-1990s AR 10986
Processed by Dianne Ritchey and LBI Staff
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Digitized as part of the CJH Holocaust Resource Initiative, made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.
Edition statement
This version was derived from ReneeAldor.xml

Revision Statements

  • February 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.
  • July 2015: dao links to oversized material added and digitization note updated by Leanora Lange.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States