William Werner Bloch Collection
Scope and Content Note
The William Werner Bloch Collection is arranged in 13 folders. A central topic of this collection is William Werner Bloch's involvement in World War II as an American soldier; it is well represented with photographs (Folder 12), military badges and medals (Folder 13). Especially interesting is the pamphlet "Mac Gibbon's Mule Barn", an account of a comrade reflecting on the mission of the Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon of the 143rd Infantry, 36th Division (Folder 13) and the correspondence with his mother and grandmother during World War II (Folder 2). The latter reflects upon various aspects of his life as a Jewish soldier, raised in Germany and fighting for the United States against the Axis powers. Amongst others, Bloch expresses in his letters that he was "overjoyed to hear the good news about that little assassination attempt on Adolf", notes that the "law of demand and supply […] applies very well in the case of eggs" in Italy, but also realizes "that war is a dirty business and there is nothing glorious, magnificent or glamorous about it." The longest of the six letters from the soldier consists of nine pages. In general, Bloch also was in correspondence with his mother and grandmother before and after the war (Folder 2).
Another topic of the collection is the striving of Bloch's mother and grandmother for compensation for lost pensions and private property in Germany after World War II (Folder 4). Furthermore, materials covering such topics as Bloch's immigration from Germany to the USA (Folder 9) and the involvement of German Jewish soldiers in World War I, namely Bloch's father Josef Bloch (Folder 9), can be found in the collection. William Werner Bloch's friendship book (Folder 10) and a letter to his mother give insight into Jewish childhood in the 1930s in Germany (Folder 2; Folder 10). There are several materials pertaining to the family of William Werner Bloch, consisting of genealogical tables of the Heimann and Silbermann families (Folder 7) and documents concerning marriages (Folder 9) as well as the death of family members (Folder 6). Some correspondence of family members is included in the collection (Folder 5); little information can be found on the chocolate factory (H. Heiman Company) owned by a relative from the Heimann family (Folder 8).
Folder 13 holds undated notes and poems by unknown authors about family members and trivia.
- Majority of material found within 1933-1960
- Bloch, William Werner, 1923–2014 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in English and German.
Open to researchers.
Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.
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
William Werner Bloch was born in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany on the 1st of May 1923. He was the son of Johanna Bloch, née Heimann, and Josef Bloch. His father worked as a businessman and served as a German soldier in World War I. He died in Freiburg im Breisgau, presumably in the 1920s. Prior to World War II William Werner Bloch lived in Wuerzburg, later he stayed for some time in London and immigrated to the United States circa 1940, as did his grandmother Bertha Heimann and his mother, who emigrated from Germany to New York City. In World War II Bloch served as an American private first class in the Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon of the 143rd Infantry, 36th Division. After the war, his family claimed compensation for lost pensions and property in Germany. He worked for some time in a candy factory owned by a relative before going into plastics. Bloch died in September 2014 at the age of 91 in Connecticut.
0.25 Linear Feet
The William Werner Bloch Collection documents chapters in the life of William Werner Bloch, especially his involvement as an American soldier in World War II, as well as the history of his family and the claim for compensation against Germany after World War II.
The collection is arranged in a single series.
The unprocessed collection was composed of two folders, each containing documents in random order. In August 2015, these two folders were rearranged into 14 folders.
- Address books
- Alba amicorum
- Bloch, Johanna, 1894-
- Bloch, Josef, 1879-
- Eulogies (documents)
- Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany)
- Genealogical tables
- Heimann family
- Jewish children
- Jewish families
- Jewish soldiers
- Legal documents
- Manuscripts (documents)
- New York (N.Y.)
- Notes (documents)
- Official documents
- Restitution -- Germany
- Silbermann family
- United States -- Emigration and immigration
- United States. Army
- United States. Army (General subdivision: Military life.)
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Participation, Jewish
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Participation, Jewish
- Würzburg (Germany)
- Guide to the Papers of William Werner Bloch 1918-1998 AR 25619
- Processed by Simon Sax
- © 2015
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Edition statement
- This version was derived from WilliamWernerBloch.xml
- January 2016:: dao links added by Emily Andresini.