Guide to John Franklin (Hans Frankenthal) papers 1991.1016

Guide to John Franklin (Hans Frankenthal) papers

Summary Information

Tauber Holocaust Library
Creator – Compiler
Franklin, John
John Franklin (Hans Frankenthal) papers
Date [inclusive]
0.3 Linear feet including documents and artifacts
Multiple languages
Language of Materials note
Documents are in German, Dutch, English and Russian.
Realia [Box]
Artifacts Box 1
Mixed materials [Folder]
Archives Box 8
The John Franklin collection comprises documents and artifacts related to his childhood experiences as a German refugee in Holland, as a prisoner in Westbork concentration camp, and as a liberated prisoner and displaced person after World War II.

Preferred Citation note

John Franklin (Hans Frankenthal) papers – 1991.1016, Holocaust Center of Northern California, San Francisco, California

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Biographical/Historical note

John Franklin was born Hans Frankenthal in July 1930 to Max and Clara Frankenthal. He had an older brother named Danner. The family lived in Voitsburg, Germany in Bavaria and his father was in the wine business. His mother was a home maker. After Kristallnacht, the family fled to Holland; his brother Danner escaped to the United States in 1938 with the support of his mother’s brother, and changed his name to Warren Franklin.

The Frankenthal family lived in a small town in the interior of Holland from 1938 until 1942. In late 1942 all Jews were removed to Amsterdam. In the middle of 1943 he, his father and mother were deported to Westerbork. Shortly afterward, Mr. Franklin and his father were deported to Bergen-Belsen. In 1945 he and his father were loaded into a transport train from Bergen-Belsen to Theresienstadt. The train never arrived at its destination and later became famous as the Lost Train. His father perished en route and was buried in a mass grave. The train stopped in Troebitz, in the Russian zone, where the prisoners were liberated by Russian Cossacks.

After the war, Mr. Franklin returned to Holland and reunited with his mother, who had been in Auschwitz, and his grandmother, who had spent the war years hidden in Holland. After his grandmother died in 1946, Mr. Franklin and his mother joined his brother and uncle in San Francisco in 1948.

Mr. Franklin was educated as a teacher in the United States, and taught high school economics and political science in San Francisco public schools. He married at age 57 and had two stepchildren.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection documents the wartime experiences of John Franklin, who as a child escaped Nazi Germany with his mother and father to settle in Holland in 1938. After the Nazi occupation of Holland in 1940, Mr. Franklin was interned in Westerbork in 1943, transported to Bergen-Belsen and liberated by Russian Cossacks in Troebitz, Germany in 1945.

The collection comprises identification documents and artifacts relating to Mr. Franklin’s residency in Holland and in Westerbork. Artifacts include a backpack and cutlery used in Westerbork, a yellow “Jood” star and a ration card. Also of interest are a Displaced Persons index card and an identification card in Russian, presumably related to his liberation in Troebitz, Germany by Russian troops.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Tauber Holocaust Library

JFCS Holocaust Center
2245 Post Street
San Francisco, CA, 94115
[email protected]

Conditions Governing Access note

There are no restrictions to access for this collection.

Conditions Governing Use note

There are no restrictions to use for this collection.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

See also John Franklin oral history interviews, OHP.2458.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp).
  • Westerbork (Concentration camp).


  • Artifacts
  • Identity cards
  • Personal papers
  • Stars of David — Netherlands

Geographic Name(s)

  • Amsterdam (Netherlands)


  • Concentration camp inmates — Germany
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) — Germany
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) — Netherlands
  • Jewish refugees — Netherlands
  • Jews — Persecutions — Germany
  • Jews, German
  • World War, 1939-1945 — Liberation

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Collection Inventory

Documents 1941-1945

Archives Box 8

D.P. Index Card for Hans Frankenthal undated

Warnung flier 23 April 1945

Netherlands Red Cross identification card 1944 January 16

Ration card for Hans Frankenthal undated

Bewijs Van AAnmelding (Proof of Application) card for Samuel Frankenthal 1941 March 12

Document with Russian script 1945 May 19

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Artifacts undated

Artifacts Box 1

Backpack used in Westerbork undated

Cutlery used in Westerbork undated

Yellow star of David with Jood undated

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