Historic Ephemera Lot from a German WWII Refugee turned American Rocket Scientist

Feb 26, 2015

Sometimes it might seem like the greatest stories have already been told, but we're fortunate to find new historic treasures all the time. 

Recently a lot of family papers was found related to a Jewish husband and wife who escaped Nazi Germany in 1938 and eventually made their way to America after the war. The collection of papers included their passport documents, permitting them to leave Germany and permitting them to enter China. 

They initially found refuge in the Shanghai Ghetto and soon after resumed their leather trade business, opening the Far East Company leather goods factory. Also among their papers were several rare Shanghai government documents pertaining to their refugee residency and work permissions.

In addition to supplying leather goods to the Allied war effort, the husband also served in the China Service Command for the U.S. military forces throughout the war. 

WWII Shanghai Refugee

After the war, they made their way to the United States, where he joined Wernher von Braun's V-2 Rocket program and contributed his expertise designing leather straps and fittings for NASA's Apollo Space Program.

WWII Refugee turned NASA Engineer

This historic collection, found languishing at a flea market in Florida, can now be fully researched and digitized, recovering it from the forgotten past and preserving it for future generations.


What forgotten history have you discovered recently?

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