Peter Paz Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains personal papers of Peter Paz and some of his family members. The bulk of the material dates from the 1990s and early 2000s and relates to restitution claims.
Peter Paz claimed restitution for himself and his mother. Materials related to these claims, such as legal documents and correspondence with officials and lawyers, can be found in folder 8. Paz and his cousin Miriam London also claimed restitution for the property in Rosswein, Germany owned by their grandfather, Alfons Goldmann. This property, located at Mühlstrasse 18, had once housed the Alfons Goldmann’s textile store. Legal documents and correspondence with lawyers related to these claims are in folders 9-10. Correspondence between Paz and Miriam London with both personal and restitution-related content can be found in folder 7. Photocopies of restitution materials related to Peter Paz’s uncle Rudolf Goldmann are also included. Rudolf Goldmann was forced to give up his career as a lawyer in Germany in the 1930s and claimed restitution for this in the late 1950s.
Beyond restitution materials, this collection also includes personal correspondence sent from Dorothea Goldmann to her mother during her imprisonment in 1944. A few letters from Peter Paz to his grandmother are also included. Official correspondence reflecting Paz’s attempt to gain German citizenship in the 1990s can be found in folder 6. Citizenship was granted Paz in 1994 and then retracted when German officials discovered that Paz already had U.S. citizenship, which made him ineligible for a reinstatement of his German citizenship. A few examples of Paz’s corporate photography are included in folder 11. Correspondence to and from Beverly Pimsleur, Paz’s companion at the end of his life, can be found in folder 12, most of which relates to Paz’s death and the donation of his papers to the Leo Baeck Institute.
- Majority of material found within 1990-1999
- Paz, Peter, 1937-2001 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in German and English with a few documents in French and Hebrew.
This collection is open to researchers.
Peter Paz (1937-2001) was born Peter Sigmund Goldmann in Berlin in 1937 to Dorothea Goldmann (1900-1944) and Leo Rubenfeld. It is unclear whether Leo Rubenfeld knew about his son. Dorothea Goldmann was arrested in early 1944, presumably for political reasons. Peter was placed in the Jewish orphanage in Pankow and later brought to his grandparents, Magdalene Maria (1872-1952) and Alfons Goldmann (1869-1944). Alfons Goldmann was sent to Theresienstadt, where he perished. Magdalene survived the war and emigrated to Australia. Peter’s mother Dorothea was transferred from prison to the concentration camp at Ravensbrueck, where she died in December 1944. Peter was interned in a concentration camp, and liberated at the end of the war when he was seven years old. Orphaned, he was sent to a displaced person’s camp in Marseille, France, and then to the Kibbutz Afek in Israel where he remained for the next 26 years under the name Yigal. In 1963 Peter came to New York with the Anna Sokolov Dance Company and performed with them for a season, leaving to study on a scholarship at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He returned to Israel in 1964 with the Martha Graham Dance Company. During that time, he became interested in photography and eventually left dance to become a photographer. After working in news and film, he became almost exclusively an international corporate photographer, working for Exxon, BP, McCormick, Otis, and Aerospatial, among others. He and his wife Luba née Kaplan had a daughter, Lyrissa. The couple later divorced. In 1990, Peter moved from New York to France with Beverly Pimsleur, his companion for the last twenty years of his life. He died after a long illness on October 21, 2001 in Nice, France.
0.5 Linear Feet
This collection contains materials related to restitution claims made by dancer and photographer Peter Paz as well as personal correspondence of his grandmother Magdalene Goldmann and mother Dorothea Goldmann. Born in Berlin and orphaned when his mother was imprisoned and killed at Ravensbrueck in 1944, Paz survived a concentration camp as a child. He later lived in Israel, New York, and Nice, France, where he died in 2001.
Arranged alphabetically by name and then by document type.
The collection was digitized and made available in its entirety with the exception of the redaction of select portions of images (25, 27-28) in folder 8.
Duplicates were removed. A spacer was placed in the box.
- Guide to the Peter Paz Collection 1934-2006 (bulk 1990-1999) AR 25237
- Processed by Leanora Lange
- © 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.
- April 2015: dao links and digitization information added by Leanora Lange.