Encounter of the Carriages, 1943.

They Shall Be Counted

Order your own copy of They Shall Be Counted from our online book store today! The book features art from the Museum's Erich Lichtblau-Leskly Theresienstadt Collection.


Erich Lichtblau-Leskly Collection

The Museum's Erich Lichtblau-Leskly Theresienstadt Collection of original paintings or ghetto-picture diaries is the largest collection of this artist's work.  Through their technical excellence, the works reveal defiance, humor, satire, and indifference to the madness of the world run by the Nazi regime.  Theresienstadt (Terezin), besides being a main incarceration center for the Central European Jews, also served as a place used to deceive the world that the Jews of Europe were alive and being treated well.  The Nazi regime used it as a stage for filming propaganda and a tourist stop for international commissions. The Lichtblau-Leskly works capture the complications and ironies of Theresienstadt. They universally depict the fundamental desperation lurking in every moment of life in the show ghetto.

Erich Lichtblau-Leskly artworks significantly differ from a ‘typical' Holocaust graphic.  Instead of a barbed wire, striped uniform, and death scenes, we see ghetto life through the prism of everyday errands and chores, depicted in grotesques and caricatures. Erich Lichtblau-Leskly convincingly challenges the Nazi anti-Jewish concepts by depicting and interpreting the ghetto life in a style he would use for a ‘normal' commercial advertisement in his prewar practice.  In the spring of 1945, Erich Lichtblau-Leskly cut most of his pictures into pieces to protect himself and his wife.  Fortunately, his wife hid these fragments, rescuing them for posterity.  Our Collection includes these fragments as well as re-created watercolors done by the artist in Israel during the 1950s throughout the 1960s. 

For more information about this special collection, please click here.


Edward Victor Collection

On October 17, 2011, Edward Victor donated his entire collection of synagogue and Holocaust philatelic materials to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Mr. Victor has accumulated a large collection of materials over the years. This Collection comprises thousands of wartime documents and artifacts in the form of various correspondences.Please visit his website (http://www.edwardvictor.com/) to take a closer look at some of the pieces we received from Mr. Victor.



Dr. Vladimir Melamed

Director of Archive, Library and Collections

In October 2011, Mr. Edward Victor, a former lawyer and philanthropist, donated to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust his Collection of the Second World War era documents and artifacts. Owing to this generous donation, our Archive acquired highly valuable historic materials. Being multivectorial by content and form, these documents and artifacts mirror various facets of the Holocaust and in a broader sense they also emanate from the interwar and wartime realities.

Mr. Victor’s Papers also include a special collection of postcards and photographs depicting largely bygone synagogues of Europe, Northern Africa and Middle East.

Mr. Victor started his collection guided primarily by philatelic interest. He collected letters, envelopes, postcards and other documents bearing a postal or institutional stamps of the respective authorities, agencies, establishments and most of all from ordinary people. At a certain point, he realizes that the fate of the people, reflected in the short narratives of correspondences, is of eternal historic value and shall not be measured only in a philatelic dimension. The content of various wartime correspondences reveals a historic enormity of victimization, dehumanization and personal tragedies on one side and a cold blood calmness of perpetrators and collaborators on the other.   

Reading correspondences sent from concentration camps, prisons, ghettos and German labor service open up a microcosm of tragic stories.  Other groups of documents, such as official correspondences from the National Socialist authorities, inquiries submitted by the relatives of incarcerated people, antisemitic and propaganda materials, rationing coupons, all in all broaden our understanding of the Holocaust and of the structure of the Nazi regime.  Ed Victor Papers, as a corpus of wartime documents, historicize the Holocaust in the context of the 20th century History.  They shed light on the earlier, lesser known and often under researched pages of the Holocaust Experience, especially when it comes to the fate of individuals. At a certain point multiple micro-histories become qualitatively intrinsic to the macro-history of the Holocaust.


We added Ed Victor Papers to our Archival Collection as a Record Group RG-72 and subdivided this group into a number of thematic sub-groups and sub-collections. Being multi-dimensional in historic, linguistic, geo-political and cultural aspects, Ed Victor Papers call for a special multi-disciplinary approach in regard to the research and archival work. Categorization, cataloguing, indexing, annotations and historic description, as well translation and adding digital content, all in all for public availability on our online archival catalog www.lamoth.info has been largely completed.  Largely, these materials are in the languages other than English. It is a multi-lingual collection comprising documents in German, Polish, Czech, French, Hungarian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian and Ukrainian.

All documents are historically valuable, however personal letters from the places of incarceration exacerbate our bitterness and pain and at the same time induce the sense of reality toward the Holocaust and the Nazi coercive and brutal regime of oppression. In other words, we are making public a synthesis of micro-histories, written by eye-witnesses, the ordinary people, not many of them survived. In most instances, the end of personal stories is unknown. Had it been known, it definitely would not be a happy ending. Existential realities of the wartime do not reserve a discourse for melodramas.

Our Archival and Research Department has completed a series of historic narratives and discourses-related articles that correlate to a research paradigm pertaining to this multi-functional and multi-vectorial corpus of documents.

This Collection, comprising around 2,000 documents and artifacts, is now searchable by multiple series on correlated index terms and subject matters. The Collection of Ed Victor Papers is structured as follows,

-- RG-72, Ed Victor Papers, http://www.lamoth.info/index.php?p=collections/findingaid&id=32&q=ed+victor+&rootcontentid=234#id234

--RG-72.01, Synagogues of Europe, Northern Africa and Middle East in postcards and      photographs;

-- RG-72.02, Correspondence from and to ghettos;

-- RG-72.03, Correspondence from and to concentration camps;

-- RG-72.04, Identification documents;

-- RG-72.05, Red Cross Papers;

-- RG-72.06, German-Nazi postcards of various topics;

-- RG-72.07, Correspondence to and from Lodz ghetto;

-- RG-72.08, Correspondence from and to German labor service;

-- RG-72.09, Proofs of incarcerations under German-Nazi and Axis regimes;

-- RG-72.10, Correspondence between German-occupied and unoccupied countries;

-- RG-72.11, Theresienstadt correspondence, to and from the ghetto;

-- RG-72.12, Histories of families and individuals in Germany-controlled Europe and in the         Allied nations;

-- RG-72.13, Antisemitic materials, Europe, 19th -- 20th Centuries;

-- RG-72.14, Documents issued by German authorities in 1933 – 1945;

-- RG-72.15, Emigration and immigrants, Europe, America, Asia;

-- RG-72.16, Jewish Councils (Judenraete) in Germany and German-occupied and controlled territories;

-- RG-72.17, Jewish resistance and Jews in the foreign armed forces;

-- RG-72.18, Hungarian Jewish experience as reflected in the correspondence

-- RG-72.19, Ration coupons

-- RG-72.20, Ghetto and camp currency

-- RG-72.21, Inter-country correspondence

-- RG-72.22, Correspondence between Germany and German-occupied territories

-- RG-72.23, Postwar correspondence

-- RG-72.24, Prisoner of war camps

-- RG-72.25, Displaced persons documents

-- RG-72.26, Red Cross Papers  

-- RG-72.27, Correspondence from to Nazi prisons

-- RG-72.28, Correspondence from and to Interment and Transit camps

-- RG-72.29, Correspondence within Romania and between Romania and other countries

-- RG-72.30, Jewish Yellow Stars and Patches

-- RG-72.31, Jewish periodicals in occupied territories

-- RG-72.32, Correspondence between German-unoccupied countries

-- RG-72.33, Correspondence within German-occupied Poland

-- RG-72.34, Croatian collection of wartime documents

-- RG-72.35, Italian Collection of wartime documents

Nowadays, research apparatus support historic and archival subjects comprising this multi-vectorial synthesis of prewar, wartime and postwar discourse in the form of official and personal narratives. 

Please see a selection of digitized letters from and to Oranienburg and Sachsenhausen concentration camps (RG-72.03.04) Auschwitz concentration camp (RG-72.03.06); Buchenwald concentration camp (RG-72.03.07) and various wartime identification documents (RG-72.04).

All these historic documents constitute only a small portion of Ed Victor Papers (RG-72) donated to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. They are catalogued and digitized by the Department of Archive, Library and Historical Curatorship, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.

Collection entitled RG-72.08, Correspondence from and to German Labor Service is multifaceted by content and form.

Nazi-German propaganda appealed to the population of German-occupied and controlled territories, making every effort to attract a volunteer manpower in German economy.

Many believed that working life in Germany could be a solution to multiple problems in the countries of their own. They volunteered for German Labor Service.

Volunteering was a typical process in the earlier years of the Second World War.

No later than 1943 the living conditioned of German civilian population significantly worsened. Proportionally, more and more people in the German-controlled territories realized that sooner or later Nazi Germany would lose the war. A stream of volunteers for the German Labor Service became extinct.  Then the German Police and Civil Authorities in the occupied and controlled territories introduced a mandatory conscription for labor in Germany.

This Collection, comprising 88 documents in the form of letters, postcards, envelopes, package forms and other narratives, reflects the lesser known German Labor System of civilian labor camps, as well as specialized labor establishments for foreign workers. The content of correspondences, written in various European languages, varies from appreciation of the working life in Nazi Germany to rather negative attitude to the Nazi-German values and the mode of life.

The titles attached to the digitized documents render a basic information of a German laborer and his or her respondent.