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A Guide to the Richard M. Feist Papers

Finding aid created by Katalin Franciska Rac

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

April 2015



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Feist, Richard M., (Richard Michael), 1923-
Title: Richard M. Feist Papers
Dates: 1945-1953
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.
Extent: 0.42 Linear feet. 1 box and 1 oversized folder.
Identification: MSS 0326
Language(s): Includes materials written in English, German, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Dutch.
Access: Researchers should consult with Special Collections staff before using the collection because there are access restrictions. See the Access note for more information.

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.


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.


Arrangement

This collection is arranged in chronological order.


Access or Use Restrictions

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.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Richard M. Feist Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

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


Contents List

Folder
1 Richard M. Feist's personal British military documents and correspondence 1945 February-1948 January, 1951-1953, undated
2 Kibbutz Buckingham papers 1945 April
3 Papers related to 55 Search Bureau and United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, list of camps, Search Bureau reports: Sandbostel and Belsen camps, and the October 3, 1945 Supplement to British Zone Review about Belsen 1945 October, 1946 April-September, undated
4 Hermann Neudorf papers: Report of the liberation of Buchenwald, correspondence 1945-1946
OS 1 Newspaper clippings 1945-1946, undated
5 Search requests from organizations, Search Bureau missing persons enquiries 1945-1946, undated
6 Richard M. Feist's personal correspondence 1945-1947, undated
7 Search requests, inquires, and thank you notes from private persons 1945-1947, undated
8 Abraham Glück's correspondence 1946 February, June-July
9 Hebrew documents from Palestine regarding Tkuma, Poel Mizrahi, and Entertainments National Service Association, including program, volunteer letter, and questionnaires 1946 March, undated
10 Search Bureau photo album 1946 May
11 Military directives related to the treatment of prisoners-of-war, displaced persons, and infiltration; displaced person cards, and camp newsletter 1946 July-August, undated
12 Prisoner-of-war Karl Passburg's application - false accusation 1946 August-September
13 Assorted envelopes 1946, undated
14 British military documents 1946-1947, undated
15 Addresses on paper pieces, Willesden Synagogue Ladies' Guild package notes undated
16 Assorted documents, including humorous "editorial," train time tables, call for Zionist protest, a short German poem, and German personal documents and letter undated

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Feist, Richard M., (Richard Michael), 1923-
Great Britain. Army. British Army of the Rhine
Holocaust survivors.




For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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