The Gottlieb and Bodansky family papers are a collection of correspondence, immigration material, photographs, and ephemera related to the family of Hermann and Camilla Gottlieb and their daughter Lony Gottlieb Bodansky. Hermann and Camilla were interred at Theresienstadt concentration camp by the Nazi government during World War II.
Scope and Contents:
The Gottlieb and Bodansky family papers are a collection of letters, diaries, immigration material, photographs, and ephemera related to the family of Herman and Camilla Gottlieb and their daughter Lony Gottlieb Bodansky and her husband Harry Bodansky. Herman and Camilla were interned at Theresienstadt by the Nazis during World War II. Herman died in 1943 while at Terezin and Camilla survived and immigrated to the United States in 1946. Lony Gottlieb and Harry Bodansky immigrated to the United States in 1938. The greatest portion of the materials in all series and subseries are written in German.
The collection is divided into two series. Each series is arranged by subject and chronologically at the folder level beginning with correspondence arranged by date then followed by other materials arranged chronologically and within each folder chronologically:
Series 1, Camilla Klauber Gottlieb Papers, 1901-1981, undated, is arranged into two subseries: Subseries 1, Purse Contents, 1901-1981, undated and Subseries 2, Papers, 1937-1964, undated.
Subseries 1, Purse Contents, 1901-1981, undated, is arranged with loose purse papers first, then United States War Department Envelope (WDE) documents (in ten folders), then the envelope marked "Mia" envelope (in one folder), all the contents of Camilla's purse. Each grouping begins with correspondence. The correspondence is between relatives and friends in the United States, Germany, Austria, and Palestine (later Israel). In addition to correspondence, this subseries also contains diaries, documents related to Hermann Gottlieb; financial, medical, education, immigration, and employment materials as well as photographs. The one item dated "1981" is a document that was produced earlier but carries dates up to 1981.
Subseries 2, Papers, 1937-1964, undated, contains papers relating to the Gottlieb family but that were not contained within the purse. The subseries begins with correspondence arranged chronologically and then with documents arranged chronologically. In addition to correspondence this series contains a diary for Camilla; obituary files for both Camillia and Hermann, immigration documents, travel papers, financial, loose photographs consisting of snapshots as well as formal portraits and passport photographs, and one photograph album with small snapshots of Camilla, family, and scenery.
Series 2, Bodansky Family, 1933-1964, undated, is arranged chronologically with correspondence heading the series. This series contains material about and generated by Lony Gottlieb Bodansky and her husband Harry Bodansky. The series contains correspondence, diaries, schooling, medical, immigration and travel documents for Lony; immigration materials related to their sustained efforts to secure Camilla Gottlieb status in the United States; financial material; news clippings (obituaries, fashion and a few German language items); ephemera; documents related to Harry Bodansky's efforts on behalf of Gerard T. Oschinsky's desire to immigrate to the United States; one photograph album with unidentified snapshot photographs of Lony and Harry as well as other friends and/or family members taken circa 1930s-1940s. There are also photographs taken at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
This collection is arranged into two series.
Series 1, Camilla Klauber Gottlieb Papers, 1901-1981, undated
Subseries 1, Purse contents, 1901-1981, undated
Subseries 2, Papers, 1937-1964, undated
Series 2, Bodansky Family Papers, 1933-1964, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Camilla Klauber Gottlieb (1884-1964), nickname "Mia", was born on December 10, 1884 in Vienna, Austria to Ludwig and Caroline Hirsch Klauber. She married Hermann Gottlieb (1875-1943) on August 15, 1918 in Vienna. They had one child, Lony (1919-1970). During the rise of the Nazi government in Germany, efforts were repeatedly made by their daughter, Lony, the Klauber relations in the United States, and Harry Bodansky and his family to secure Camilla and Harry's immigration to the United States. These efforts failed. During World War II, Camilla and her husband were interned in Theresienstadt concentration camp by the Nazi government. Hermann died while in Theresienstadt of natural causes. Camilla was at last allowed to immigrate to the United States in 1946. After her immigration to the United States Camilla lived in New York City with Lony and her son-in-law Harry Bodansky (1919-2009). For a time Camilla worked at home as a hand embroiderer sewing insignia on sweaters and scarves for G.A. Embroidery Company of New York. She moved with her family when they relocated to Kensington, Maryland in 1952. Camillia died in Maryland in 1964 and was interred in the Adas Israel Cemetery in Kensington.
At some point, Camilla acquired a purse. She used this purse as a defacto file cabinet at least until 1952. Within this purse she kept all of the documents detailed in Series 1, Subseries 1.
Harry Bodansky was born on March 19, 1919 in Berlin, Germany and with the rise of Adolf Hitler he and his family moved to Vienna, Austria. He and Lony Gottlieb both attended the same school in Vienna, Austria. Lony immigrated to the United States in 1938. Harry, his parents and brother Ralph had also immigrated to the United States in 1938. Lony and Harry married in 1943 and lived in New York, New York. Harry attended the City College of New York and obtained a degree in economics. He received his master's in economics from Columbia University. He reportedly sold purse handles before becoming a writer on business and economics for a German language publication. The Bodanskys moved to Kensington, Maryland in 1952 when Harry accepted a job with the Commerce Department. They had two sons, Harvey and Robert. Lony died in 1970 and Harry died on May 21, 2009 and was interred in the Adas Israel Cemetery in Kensington.
"Harry Bodansky, economist, activist, 90", obituary, Washington Jewish Week, May 27, 2009.
"Mr. Harry Bodansky", obituary, Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home, Inc., website, accessed January 31, 2012.
Objects related to this acquisition, Camilla's purse, clothing, jewelry, examples of her embroidery, and other objects are housed in the Division of Home and Community Life (now Division of Cultural and Community Life). See accession #: 2011.0164.01-2011.0164.48.
Donated to the Division of Home and Community Life, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian by Robert Bodansky in August 2011.
This collection is open for research use. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with cotton gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.