Guide to the Lasus family papers
2005.0007

Summary Information

Repository
Tauber Holocaust Library
Creator
Lasus family
Title
Lasus family papers
ID
2005.0007
Date [inclusive]
1938-1965
Extent
3.0 Folder(s)
Language
Multiple languages
Mixed materials [Folder]
Archives Box 12
Abstract
The Lasus family papers document the couple’s experiences during the Holocaust, including Mr. Lasus’s imprisonment in Dachau in 1938, the couple’s residence in Shanghai from 1939-1948, and their eventual emigration to the United States. The Lasus Family papers provide insight into the experiences of those German and Austrian Jews who were forced to flee from Germany and Austria during Hitler’s Third Reich and who spent the war years in Shanghai, China.

Preferred Citation note

[Item] [date], Lasus family papers. 2005-0007, Tauber Holocaust Library - JFCS Holocaust Center, San Francisco, California

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Biographical/Historical note

The collection documents the experience of German and Austrian Jews forced to flee from Germany and Austria during Hitler’s Third Reich. Denied admittance to most countries, thousands of German and Austrian Jews found their way to Shanghai, where visas and passports were not required until the Japanese occupation. After 1941, the occupying Nazi-aligned Japanese ghettoized the Jewish refugees in Shanghai into an area known as the Shanghai Ghetto.

Mr. Erich Lasus and Mrs. Mathilde Lasus were Austrian Jews who fled Nazi-occupied Austria for Shanghai, China in May 1939, where they lived until 1948.

Documents indicate that Mr. Lasus was imprisoned at Dachau concentration camp from November 10, 1938 (immediately after the Kristallnacht pogrom) until February 27, 1939. In May 1939, the Lasuses left for Shanghai. Mr. and Mrs. Lasus opened a dress shop in Shanghai in 1943.

Mr. and Mrs. Lasus left Shanghai and traveled by boat to Ellis Island in February and March 1949, where they were interned before being transported to Naples, Italy. They remained in Italy until 1951, when they were able to emigrate to the United States.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection is comprised of documents and artifacts pertaining to the Lasus’s residency in Shanghai during World War II, and their subsequent emigration to the United States. Documents are in English, German, French and Chinese. Also included is a memoir, written in German, by Mr. Lasus, Episode Shanghai. This collection documents the experience of those German and Austrian Jews who fled to Shanghai. Papers include certificates, identification cards, travel passes and other documents issued to Shanghai residents. Photographs, letter and documents provides insight into the post-war emigration process. Of particular interest is a letter written by Mr. Lasus to his sister and brother-in-law recounting his trans-Atlantic voyage from Ellis Island to Naples, Italy aboard a United States army transport, the General Steward.

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Arrangement note

Collection is arranged in chronological order; items that are undated follow those that are dated.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Tauber Holocaust Library

JFCS Holocaust Center
2245 Post Street
San Francisco, CA, 94115
415-449-3717
tauberholocaustlibrary@jfcs.org

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

This collection was donated to the Holocaust Center of Northern California by Mathilde Lasus in 1987. In addition to the papers, Mrs. Lasus also donated various silver, gold and ornamental artifacts that were auctioned to benefit the Holocaust Center of Northern California.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Consult archivist for information about other Tauber Holocaust Library collections relating to the experiences of European Jews in Shanghai during the Holocaust era.

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Controlled Access Headings

Family Name(s)

  • Lasus family

Genre(s)

  • Family papers
  • Immigration records
  • Memoirs
  • Newspapers -- China -- Shanghai
  • Photographs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Austria -- Emigration and immigration
  • Shanghai (China) -- Emigration and immigration

Subject(s)

  • Jewish refugees -- China -- Shanghai
  • Jews, Austrian -- Migration
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Refugees -- Austria

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Collection Inventory

Immigration to Shanghai and Shanghai period documents 1938-1946 

Folder
1

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Immigration to United States documents, 1948-1965 

Folder
2

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Episode Shanghai undated 

Folder
3

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