Hans (Chanan) Mielzynski Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists primarily of hundreds of letters from Hans (Chanan) Mielzynski to his wife, Eva (Chawa). He would write at least weekly, and often more, while he was away. There are letters from Sedom, where he worked in the potash plant, and Ashdot(1941-1944); while in the Jewish Brigade, training in Egypt and fighting in Italy (1944-1945); and in Europe after the war helping displaced Jews emigrate to Palestine (1945-1946). The letters are primarily handwritten in German, with Hebrew words and phrases throughout.
The correspondence also includes about 15 letters from Chawa to Hans, from May 1945 to June 1946, including a letter returned to her after his death. These are also handwritten in German. Additional correspondence includes a few letters addressed to both Chawa and Hans from friends and family; about 20 letters to Hans, from various friends, including longtime friend Gerd Sorenson, in German and Hebrew, and two letters (in German) from Kurt Goldmann, of the Jewish Agency in Palestine office in the US Zone in Germany; and about 15 letters from friends and family to Chawa, including a June 1946 condolence letter that includes as an attachment a statement from Hans about his work and his love for the Land of Israel.
Other materials in this collection include a three-page biography (English) of Hans written in 2013 by freelance historian Hanna Eckhardt, as well as documents and correspondence about the circumstances of Hans Mielzynski's death and Chawa Mielzynski's application for death benefits. The collection also contains various items such as Mielzynski's German work references; a photo of his gravestone; a 1939 rail pass for Palestine; the newspaper announcement of Hans Mielzynski's birth; official documents; fragments of correspondence; two postcards with photos of Hans; and a school record for Hans's friend Erich Stiefel.
- Creation: 1914-2013
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1940-1946
Language of Materials
This collection is in German and Hebrew, with some English.
This collection is open to researchers.
Biographical Note<extptr title="Hans (Chanan) Mielzynski, circa 1945-1946" href="http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=2327959" show="embed" altrender="Hans (Chanan) Mielzynski, circa 1945-1946" actuate="onload"/>
Hans (Chanan) Mielzynski (1914, Frankfurt am Main – 1946, Düsseldorf) was the son of Siegfried and Selma née Stein Mielzynski. His mother died when he was quite young, and his father remarried. In 1929, his father died, and Hans was subsequently raised by his grandmother and stepmother.
By the early 1930s, Hans had embraced Zionism, and he went to a Hachshara training farm in Denmark, on the island of Fynen. In 1937, he emigrated to Palestine and joined the kibbutz Givat HaShlosha. There, he married Eva (Chawa) née Mueller, born 1910 in Berlin. After the loss of a child, the couple moved and joined kibbutz Hagarin, near Ra'anana, where they had another child. Mielzynski worked in the potash plant near Sedom on the Dead Sea, and in late 1944 joined the British Army as part of the Jewish Brigade. After a brief visit home after the end of the war, Mielzynski returned to Europe to help care for Jewish displaced persons in Germany, Holland, and Belgium (including those in the displaced persons camp at Bergen-Belsen) and assist them in the then-illegal emigration to Palestine, as part of the Bricha movement. He died suddenly in June 1946 in Düsseldorf, after an illness and heart issues. His second son, Rafael (Raffi) was born in early 1946; Mielzynski never met him.
0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
This collection consists primarily of hundreds of letters from Hans (Chanan) Mielzynski to his wife, Eva (Chawa), between 1940 and 1946. Mielzynski wrote from Sedom, where he worked in the potash plant, and Ashdot, where he did kibbutz-related work (1941-1944); while in the Jewish Brigade, training in Egypt and fighting in Italy (1944-1945); and in Europe after the war helping displaced Jews emigrate to Palestine (1945-1946).
The collection is arranged into two series, Correspondence and Documents.
The correspondence is arranged chronologically.
The collection was digitized and made accessible in its entirety.
Materials were foldered. Letters were removed from envelopes and unfolded. A few letters show some old pest damage.
- Hans (Chanan) Mielzynski Collection undated, 1914-2013 , bulk 1940-1946 AR 25606
- Processed by Kevin Schlottmann
- © 2014
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Processing made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany. Digitization made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany
- October 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.