LEWYN, BERT, 1923-2016.
Bert and Esther Lewyn family papers, 1921-2009

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zk4h


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lewyn, Bert, 1923-2016.
Title: Bert and Esther Lewyn family papers, 1921-2009
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1148
Extent: 2.5 linear feet (5 boxes), and 1 oversized papers box (OP)
Abstract:Family papers of author, businessman, and Holocaust survivor, Bert Lewyn, and wife, Esther Lewyn, including correspondence, photographs, and materials relating to the writing of his book On the Run in Nazi Berlin.
Language:Materials in English, German, Hebrew, and Yiddish.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance for access to unprocessed born digital materials in this collection. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to unprocessed born digital materials.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in This Repository

Louis and Anna Geffen family papers

Source

Gift of Bert and Esther Lewyn, 2010.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Bert and Esther Lewyn family papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Appraisal Note

Acquired by Susan Potts McDonald, Head of Arrangement and Description Services, as part of the Rose Library's holdings in the history of the Jewish community of Atlanta, Georgia.

Processing

Arranged and described at the file level by Tierra Thomas, 2020. The collection arrived at Rose Library largely organized in binders and standard file folders with minimal description. Archivists retained the original foldered units, refoldered them in acid-free folders, and supplied additional description to facilitate access. Items in binders and photograph albums were removed and foldered and data found on binders was photocopied and included with that unit of material. Materials are described using the name of the person who created the majority of the contents then by the record type or activity to which the materials relate. Archivists arranged unfoldered materials by grouping related materials and provided description.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

Bert Lewyn was born Dagobert Lewin in Berlin, Germany, on April 2, 1923. He grew up during the Nazi party’s rise to power, and in 1942, at eighteen, he and his parents were taken by the Gestapo and separated. Lewyn was sent to work in the Gustav Genschow and Co., Weapons Factory (Berlin, Germany), and much later, he learned his parents were sentenced to die at the Trawniki (Poland) concentration camp. He was enslaved at the factory until 1943 when a non-Jewish worker warned him that the Gestapo were loading Jewish workers onto trucks and taking them away. That day he did not report to work and spent the next several years hiding at the homes of friends and strangers. In 1945 he was captured and imprisoned at the Grosse Hamburger Strasse prison (Berlin, Germany). He and a group of prisoners managed to escape through a tunnel they accessed with a key Bert Lewyn made from debris he found after a bombing occurred near the prison. He returned to the apartment of his friends, Jenny and Leo Lebrecht, and remained there for several weeks until Russian soldiers raided the apartment, signaling the end of the war. As Jewish people returned to Berlin, Bert Lewyn connected with his aunt Riva Gutman and, together, they emigrated to the Feldafing displaced persons camp (Bavaria, Germany), hoping to move onto Palestine. However, he lived there until 1949 when his great aunt Sarah Hene and great uncle Rabbi Tobias Geffen sponsored his emigration to Atlanta, Georgia. In Atlanta, he started the Lewyn Machinery Company and married Esther Sloan in 1951. They later had five children, and Bert Lewyn wrote his memoir On the Run in Nazi Berlin (2001) with the help of his daughter-in-law Bev Saltzman Lewyn.

Bert Lewyn was born Dagobert Lewin in Berlin, Germany, on April 2, 1923. He grew up during the Nazi party’s rise to power, and in 1942, at eighteen, he and his parents were taken by the Gestapo and separated. Lewyn was sent to work in the Gustav Genschow and Co., Weapons Factory (Berlin, Germany), and much later, he learned his parents were sentenced to die at the Trawniki (Poland) concentration camp. He was enslaved at the factory until 1943 when a non-Jewish worker warned him that the Gestapo were loading Jewish workers onto trucks and taking them away. That day he did not report to work and spent the next several years hiding at the homes of friends and strangers. In 1945 he was captured and imprisoned at the Grosse Hamburger Strasse prison (Berlin, Germany). He and a group of prisoners managed to escape through a tunnel they accessed with a key Bert Lewyn made from debris he found after a bombing occurred near the prison. He returned to the apartment of his friends, Jenny and Leo Lebrecht, and remained there for several weeks until Russian soldiers raided the apartment, signaling the end of the war. As Jewish people returned to Berlin, Bert Lewyn connected with his aunt Riva Gutman and, together, they emigrated to the Feldafing displaced persons camp (Bavaria, Germany), hoping to move onto Palestine. However, he lived there until 1949 when his great aunt Sarah Hene and great uncle Rabbi Tobias Geffen sponsored his emigration to Atlanta, Georgia. In Atlanta, he started the Lewyn Machinery Company and married Esther Sloan in 1951. They later had five children, and Bert Lewyn wrote his memoir On the Run in Nazi Berlin (2001) with the help of his daughter-in-law Bev Saltzman Lewyn.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Bert and Esther Lewyn and includes personal and professional correspondence, photographs of the Lewyn family, and photographs documenting sites significant to Bert Lewyn’s life in Berlin, Germany, such as the Jewish Orphan’s home he lived at as a child, the Gustav Genschow and Co., Weapons factory, and various monuments and memorials. Also included are his speeches about surviving the Holocaust, materials relating to the Lewyn Machinery Company, and family documents, including contracts and legal documents of Esther Lewyn’s father, Louis Sloan, the writings of Bert Lewyn’s cousin Dov Levin, a study conducted by Ester Lewyn, and transcribed journal entries of Rabbi Tobias Geffen. Correspondence is primarily between Bert Lewyn and his family and friends, including Dov Levin, Rivka Gutman, Fran Kuzitsky, Rabbi Tobias Geffen, and Sarah Hene. Additionally, the collection includes correspondence between Esther Lewyn and Dr. Bella Bernfeld and the correspondence of Dov Levin, Ida Borochoff, and Leslie Brent, primarily with the Lewyn family. The bulk of the collection contains materials relating to the writing and promotion of On the Run in Nazi Berlin, including manuscript drafts, self-publishing materials from Xlibris, financial documents relating to book ordering and royalties, and original photographs and documents from Bert Lewyn’s survival in Nazi Germany, including his identification card from the Feldafing displaced persons camp.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in alphabetical order.


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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 American Organization for Rehabilitation through Training (ORT) Atlanta Chapter, annual scholarship kickoff program, 2002
1 2 Berlin-Pankow Jewish Orphan's Home (Germany), brochure and calendar, 2005
1 3 Book ordering and publishing costs, 2003-2005
1 4 Borochoff, Ida, letter, undated
1 5 Brent, Leslie, correspondence, 2001-2004
1 6 "Holocaust Survivor shares story," newspaper clipping, 2005
1 7 Kusitzky-Hora music notation and translated lyrics, 2001
1 8 Leasing advertisements for commercial properties, undated
1 9 Levin, Dov, correspondence, 2003-2008
1 10 Levin, Dov, writings, 1999-2002
1 11 Lewyn, Bert, "Arrival in the US," 1998
1 12 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence, 1996-2003
1 13 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence, 1996-2004
1 14 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence, 2002-2003
1 15 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence and notes, 1996
1 16 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence, trip to Berlin accommodations, 2001
1 17 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with A. Kuzitsky, 1946-1974
1 18 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Dov Levin, 1952-1996
1 19 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Dov Levin, 1970-2003
1 20 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Dov Levin, 2002-2003
1 21 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Ernest Lowenberg, 2001-2005
1 22 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Fran Kuzitsky, 1962-1964
1 23 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Fran Kuzitsky, 1962-1974 [1]
1 24 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Fran Kuzitsky, 1962-1974 [2]
1 25 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Fran Kuzitsky, 1963-1965
1 26 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with G?enther Goldbarth, 1996-1998
1 27 Lewyn, Bert correspondence with Jörg Hensel, 1995-2002
2 1 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Riva Gutman, 1940-2000
2 2 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Riva Gutman, 1948, 1997
2 3 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Susan Bartoletti, 2003-2004
2 4 Lewyn, Bert, correspondence with Tobias Geffen and Sarah Hene, 1948
2 5 Lewyn, Bert, essays about the Berlin-Pankow Jewish Orphan's Home and visiting Berlin, undated
2 6 Lewyn, Bert, oral history, undated
2 7 Lewyn, Bert, untitled speech about surviving the Holocaust, undated [1]
2 8 Lewyn, Bert, untitled speech about surviving the Holocaust, undated [2]
2 9 Lewyn, Bert, writings and notes, 1995-1998
2 10 Lewyn, Ester, correspondence with Bella Bernfeld (Doctor), 1987-1988
2 11 Lewyn, Ester, "Junior Kinsey Report," undated
2 12 Lewyn Machinery Company, Inc., promotional materials, 1979
2 13 Newspaper clippings, 1999-2002
2 14 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, book talk and promotional materials, 2005
2 15 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, German translation correspondence and trip to Berlin materials, 2001-2003, 2009
2 16 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, manuscript, 1998 [1 of 2]
2 17 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, manuscript, 1998 [2 of 2]
2 18 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, manuscript, 2000 [1 of 2]
2 19 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, manuscript, 2000 [2 of 2]
3 1 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, manuscript, undated [1 of 4]
3 2 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, manuscript, undated [2 of 4]
3 3 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, manuscript, undated [3 of 4]
3 4 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, manuscript, undated [4 of 4]
3 5 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, notes and drafts, 1994-1996
3 6 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, outline and notes, 1992-1994 [1 of 2]
3 7 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, outline and notes, 1992-1994 [2 of 2]
3 8 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, PDF version on CD, undated
3 9 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, photocopies of photographs and document figures, 1921-1998
3 10 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, photographs, 1921-2001
3 11 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, research materials, photographs, book reviews, and correspondence, 1923-2007
3 12 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, research notes and drafts, 1921-1995
4 1 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, research notes and drafts, 1989-1998
4 2 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, reviews, 2001-2003
4 3 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, reviews and promotional materials, 2001-2003
4 4 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, screenplay correspondence, 2000-2002
4 5 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, screenplay draft, 2001
4 6 On the Run in Nazi Berlin, screenplay draft, 2002
4 7 Photograph album, 1948-1997
4 8 Photograph, Berlin-Pankow Jewish Orphan's Home (Germany) children's orchestra, 1935
OP1 1 Photograph, Gustav Genschow and Co., Weapons Factory (Berlin, Germany), circa 1930
4 9 Photographs, 1921-2002
4 10 Photographs, industrial properties, undated
4 11 Photographs, trip to Berlin, 2001
4 12 Sloan, Louis, citizenship petition, 1939
4 13 Sloan, Louis, contracts, warranty deeds, and title insurance policy, 1932-1943, 1973
4 14 Sloan, Louis, payment dispute documents, 1939-1940
4 15 Sloan, Louis, work contracts, 1939
4 16 Speeches given at Berlin book presentation, 2009 January 27
4 17 "The State of Georgia Official Observance Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust," program, 2003 May 2
4 18 "Stories Intertwined," student poem in honor of Bert Lewyn, 2006
4 19 Transcribed journal entries of Tobias Geffen (Rabbi), 1950
4 20 Unidentified writing in Yiddish, undated
4 21 Xlibris self-publishing materials, 2004-2005
5 1 Xlibris self-publishing materials and book ordering correspondence, 2000-2001 [1 of 2]
5 2 Xlibris self-publishing materials and book ordering correspondence, 2000-2001 [2 of 2]
5 3 Xlibris self-publishing materials and correspondence, 2002-2004
5 4 Xlibris self-publishing materials, royalty reports, and book orders, 2002
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