Guide to the Herbert and Gertrude Kaufman papers

Summary Information

Tauber Holocaust Library
Herbert and Gertrude Kaufman papers
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1922-1947
Date [inclusive]
3.0 Folder(s)
Language of Materials note
Materials are in German, English, and Chinese.
Mixed materials [Folder]
Archives Box 4
The collection is comprised of identification and travel documents relating to the Kaufman family's experiences in Shanghai from 1941-1947, together with certificates, mostly employment related, from Germany during the period 1922-1940. The collection also includes two Nazi armbands.

Preferred Citation note

Herbert and Gertrude Kaufman papers - 1988.1122, Tauber Holocaust Library - JFCS Holocaust Center, San Francisco, California

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Biographical/Historical note

Herbert Kaufman was in Essen, Germany in 1904. He lived in Herne, where he worked for different businesses as a laborer and salesman. He fled to Shanghai, China in July 1940, and spent the war years there, where he worked as a fireman from 1941 to 1944. Mr. Kaufman worked for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee from 1944 to 1946 as a camp guard, and emigrated to the United States in June 1947. He was married to Gertrud Kaufmann. They and their two children were featured in an article in a local Oakland newspaper, which showed them eating their first Thanksgiving dinner, probably in the early 1950s.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection documents the experiences of a Jewish German couple who fled Germany and spent the war years in Shanghai, China. The collection includes documents related to Herbert Kaufman's life in Germany before their emigration, including several letters of recommendation, as well as passport, work and other certificates. Documents from Shanghai include a resident certificate for Gertrud Kaufman; and travel permit, letters of recommendation for Herbert Kaufman and his affidavit in lieu of passport, allowing him to emigrate to the United States; and immunization records for Gertrude and Herbert Kaufman. The collection also includes two Nazi armbands.

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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. However, several documents are fragile and cannot be handled.

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 Gertrude Kaufman oral history interview - OHP.9622.

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Controlled Access Headings

Family Name(s)

  • Kaufmann family


  • Armbands -- Germany
  • Certificates -- Germany
  • Certificates -- Shanghai
  • Passports
  • Travel documents -- China -- Shanghai

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States -- Emigration and immigration


  • Jewish families -- Germany
  • Jewish ghettos -- China -- Shanghai
  • Jewish refugees -- China -- Shanghai
  • Jews -- China -- Shanghai
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- China -- Shanghai

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Collection Inventory

German language documents, 1922-1940   1.0 Folder(s)

Herbert Kaufman documents, 1938-1940 

Arbeitsbuch 1938-1940 

Reisepass (passport), 1940 

Bescheinigung (certificate), 1940 March 31 

Lohnsteuerkarte 1940, 

Letters of recommendation, 1922-1940 

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Shanghai period documents, 1941-1947   1.0 Folder(s)

Kitchen-Fund card, undated 

Gertrude Kaufman resident certificate, undated 

Letters of referral and confirmation of employment for Herbert Kaufman 1944-1947 

Affidavit in lieu of passport for Herbert Kaufman 1947 

Vaccination certificates for Herbert and Gertrud Kaufman 1947 

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Artifacts 1940s   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Artifacts comprise two Nazi armbands - on is a NSDAP (Nazi Party) armband; the second is a white armband printed with the Hoheitszeichen (national emblem-style eage and swastika).

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