Baermann Family Papers / Record Group 10

Title Baermann Family Papers

Dates 1997–1999

Accession Number RG-10

Extent 0.4 linear foot (1 box, 1 envelope folder)

Provenance Hilde Blumenthal and Ruth Navon

Biographical Note

Hilde, Resi, and Ruth grew up in Heisingen, Germany with their parents, Hermann and Rosalie Baermann. The family owned and operated two successful butcher businesses. In 1935, however, the Baermanns left these businesses and moved to Essen. There Hilde, Resi, and Ruth found jobs in Jewish-owned businesses.

While in Essen, Ruth met her husband, Herman Navon (née Vestandig). Herman was persecuted for having previous relationships with Aryan women and decided to flee Germany. He first went to Paris and then on to Palestine. Ruth later joined him in Haifa, Israel in 1937.

Meanwhile, Hilde started working in a department store but lost her job in 1936 after the store’s Jewish owners were forced to give up their business. She found work in another store until she was able to gain passage out of Germany. In 1938 Hilde migrated to England where she worked as a domestic servant. While there, she met and married Eric Blumenthal. Eric was the only child of David and Lina Blumenthal, who both perished in Theresienstadt. In 1941 Eric and Hilde moved to Houston, Texas in 1941 and had two children, Vera Lynn and Frank David.

After Essen, Resi went to Vienna before migrating to Quito, Ecuador. She was able to bring her parents to Ecuador via Havana. The whole family was reunited in America in 1953 where they all eventually settled in Richmond.

Restriction on Access No restriction    Restriction on Use No restriction    Language English, German, and Hebrew.

Preferred Citation Virginia Holocaust Museum, Record Group 10, Baermann Family Papers, [Box #, Folder #].

Scope and Content

The Baermann family papers contain a number of original documents pertaining to both the Baermann and Blumenthal families. It combines record groups 10 and 162. These documents include family records, identity documents, migration papers, work documents, financial documents, correspondence, art, articles, insurance and claims documents, and miscellaneous documents.

Family documents include all family records—such as birth, death, and marriage certificates—and family documentation—such as a family tree. These documents help to outline family relations and important family dates. Family photographs depict both the Baermann and Blumenthal families, and also include souvenir photographs from the family. Travel IDs include passports and identity documents for the Baermanns, highlighting what it took for the family to make it out of the country and documenting the various routes they took. Similarly, migration documents help to track and document the Baermanns’ movement out of Germany. Migration documents include character affidavits, naturalization certificates, and declaration papers.

Work documents relate to Hilde, Eric, and Hermann. They include documents like resumes, employment agreements, and certificates. Financial documents include receipts, correspondences, and paycheck information. These items show, to a degree, the financial commitment it took for Hilde to get Eric to the States. Personal correspondence contains letters, most of which are written to Hilde. These letters are mostly in German. Art includes a song book, poems by an unnamed author, and a reprint of a painting, which is housed in Box 2. Articles contain newspaper clippings from Germany, clippings on the family’s naturalization, and a Yom HaShoah reflection. These items provide some personal insight into the Baermanns’ experiences. Insurance documents mainly related to Hilde and Bundesversicherungsanstalt für Angestellte. These documents document Hilde’s attempt to get an international education for her daughter, but also discuss pension payments and other financial dealings. Claims documents, which include a completed application and blank applications, were filed by Hilde. These documents also provide a further understanding of family relations. Finally, miscellaneous documents include a note, business card, and a small book in Hebrew.


Box Folder Contents
1 1 Family documents
1 2 Family Photographs
1 3 Travel identity documents
1 4 Migration documents
1 5 Work documents
1 6 Financial documents
1 7 Personal correspondence
1 8 Art
1 9 Articles
1 10 insurance documents
1 11 Claims documents
1 12 Miscellaneous
2 N/A Painting Copy

Indexing Terms

  • Grundman (department store)
  • Alsberg Elberfeld (department store)
  • Theresienstadt (concentration camp)
  • Essen, Heisingen, Germany
  • Houston, Texas
  • Sachsenhausen (concentration camp)
  • Mauthausen (concentration camp)
  • Gross-Rosen (concentration camp)
  • Oranienburg (concentration camp)
  • Bergen-Belsen (concentration camp)
  • Kloster Indersdorf (displaced persons camp)
  • Messerschmitt AG
  • United States–Emigration and immigration–History–20th Century