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Richard M. Feist Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 0326

Scope and Content

This collection contains papers of Richard Feist and his two acquaintances, Herman Neudorf and Abraham Glück, documenting a segment of history immediately following World War II. Items in this collection include correspondence, military documents, guidelines and handbooks, displaced person cards, reports, a list of concentration camps, photographs, news clippings, and newsletters. This collection is arranged in chronological order.

Feist's personal correspondence reflects his connections and relationships while serving in the British Army, and later in the Jewish Brigade, after his appointment to 55 Search Bureau. There are several persons and families he corresponded with during these years and some of these personal connections became work-related contacts. Feist's military documents stem from the time of his wartime military service and while he was appointed to the Search Bureau, as well as military issued forms, general information booklets, and directives, some regarding the treatment of prisoners-of-war and displaced persons, and guidelines about how to handle cases of infiltration. Other records evidence Feist's membership in Kibbutz Buckingham, a scarcely documented collective in England.

Other records here detail 55 Search Bureau, including a report on the history of the bureau and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration; a hand-written list of concentration, labor, and death camps; reports on the Sandbostel and Belsen camps; and a Supplement to British Zone Review about the British Military operation in Belsen. A bureau photograph album depicts employees of the group from the time Feist was there. While working in the Search Bureau, Feist corresponded with both private persons and organizations requesting help in sending packages and looking for survivors and family members. Similar letters addressed to Abraham Glück are also found here, as well as some of his papers.

Additional documents in this collection include a complaint by prisoner-of-war Karl Passburg for being "falsely accused" of not paying following a business transaction with a Jewish person; papers of Herman Neudorf, which includes personal letters and his report of the liberation of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp; records in Hebrew, such as a concert program and documents related to Tkuma, Poel Mizrahi, and Histadrut Zionit; an anonymous call for Zionist protest in English; a train timetable; and several tickets accompanying donation packages issued by the Willesden Synagogue Ladies' Guild. English and Hebrew newspaper clippings include pages 5-8 and 17-20 of the English newspaper Solder about wartime military actions, including the activities of the Jewish Brigade; two pages of the July 26, 1946 Nuremberg Nearer Home Tribune, the Hebrew newspaper of BAOR; and the March 27, 1945 issue of the Hebrew daily HaZofe.

Dates

  • 1945-1953

Creator

Language of Materials

Includes materials written in English, German, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Dutch.

Access

Due to possible privacy concerns with this collection, researchers should consult with Dr. Rebecca Jefferson, Head of the Price Library of Judaica (352-273-2650), to access the records.

Biographical/Historical Note

Richard M. Feist was born in 1923. During World War II, he served in the British Army's East Surrey Regiment (Service Number 14458550) and was a member in the Jewish Brigade. After the War, probably in September 1945, he was appointed to the Search Division of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) and stationed in Göttingen, Germany. He worked at 55 Search Bureau, which was responsible for helping mainly Jewish survivors find their relatives and handling administration related to displaced persons and prisoners-of-war. During the period he worked at the Search Bureau, he was in contact with his former fellow combatants in the Jewish Brigade, friends from Kibbutz Buckingham, and his family in England. In addition, he corresponded with many familiar and unknown persons regarding searching for relatives, forwarding packages to displaced person camps and to Palestine, and more. Serving in the Jewish Brigade, Feist likely visited Palestine, or had at least been in contact with Tkuma, the organization helping soldiers to settle in Palestine. He was an Orthodox Jew who had contact with religious organizations in Palestine, too. According to his correspondence, he also developed personal relationships with residents of the Palestinian Jewish settlement.

Abraham Glück and Hermann Neudorf helped him in his work at the Search Bureau. Glück was born in 1924, in Vienna, Austria. He was a Czechoslovak national. During World War II, he served in the British army, in the Royal West Kent Regiment. He participated in the Italian campaign, including the battle of Monte Cassino. Later he transferred to the Jewish Brigade. He also participated in the liberation of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp and later helped the work of the Research Bureau rehabilitating and reuniting survivors of the Holocaust and their families. He was extremely proud of and grateful to be able to contribute to the Bureau's work. Biographical information of Glück is given by his son Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE who (as of March 2017) lives in London, UK.

Neudorf (b. June 3, 1925) witnessed the liberation of Buchenwald Concentration Camp from within. He was a prisoner there. His typed report of the Camp's liberation is included in this collection, in the folder titled "Hermann Neudorf papers." Neudorf immigrated to the United States and (as of April 2015) lives in Florida. He was very active both in the United States and in Germany creating and nurturing the memory of the Holocaust. In Germany, a Stolperstein was laid to commemorate his and his family's struggle during the Holocaust.

Extent

0.42 Linear feet (1 box and 1 oversized folder)

Abstract

This collection contains the papers of Richard M. Feist and some papers of Abraham Glück and Hermann Neudorf. These records include both personal and professional papers, and correspondence with members of the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, family members, members of Kibbutz Buckingham in England, various organizations in Europe and Palestine/Israel, and private persons searching for relatives or for other types of aid from 55 Search Bureau of the British Army of the Rhine following the Holocaust. In addition, the collection contains some newspaper clippings, internal secret documents issued by the British Army, and reports and documentation of the postwar work of the Search Bureau and its institutional partners. Additional documents and correspondence with organizations and private persons in Palestine and Europe are also included, While this collection reveals little about Feist's life outside of his work during a short yet tumultuous historical period following World War II, it provides an important contribution to research on the process and logistics needed to address the enormous task of searching for missing persons created in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in chronological order.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

The collection was acquired without historical provenance, leaving an unclear biographical background.

Title
A Guide to the Richard M. Feist Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid created by Katalin Franciska Rac
Date
April 2015
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

Contact:
George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America
352-273-2755