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Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
Fonds
ID
Fonds 93
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
Fonds
Fonds
93
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1900]-2000, predominant 1929-1947
Physical Description
8 cm of textual records
3 albums (ca. 210 photographs)
2 photographs
Admin History/Bio
Heinz Kassel (1912-2009) (later changed to Henry Cassel) was a German refugee during the Second World War who was classified as an enemy alien by the British government. He spent two years in an internment camp for prisoners of war (POWs) in Quebec. He later became a naturalized Canadian citizen and enlisted in the Canadian military.
Heinz was born on October 25, 1912 in Aschaffenburg, Germany to Adolf and Olga Kassel. Adolf owned a successful banking business which he had inherited from his father. The family resided above the bank and lived a comfortable life during these early years. They moved to Frankfurt around 1920 after Adolf sold his business to buy a partnership in a bank there.
Heinz’s parents had hoped that he would one day become a corporate lawyer. In 1931, in preparation for his future career, he began studying law and economics at Frankfurt University. He enjoyed his initial university years. However, after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, he became alarmed when his non-Jewish university friends began ignoring him and when the German government passed laws forbidding Jews from practicing law in court. Determined to leave Germany and seek out a better life elsewhere, he begged his parents to immigrate with him to the United States. They refused to go, unwilling to leave behind the life they had worked so hard to build. In accordance with his parents’ wishes, Heinz relocated to nearby Italy instead of the US in 1934. He learned Italian and eventually secured a job with an engineering firm.
Sensing that the political climate in Italy was becoming dangerous for Jewish people, Heinz applied for immigration to the US in early 1939. Eager to leave Italy, he relocated to London to await the approval of his US visa. He left just in time: Britain declared war on Germany less than a week after his arrival. His parents, in turn, managed to escape to Holland. Soon after Britain’s declaration, all immigrants from enemy countries were considered enemy aliens and suspected of being spies.
On May 12, 1940, the British military arrested Heinz and interned him with other German immigrants and POWs. He believed his detainment was only a precautionary measure and that he would be cleared within a few days. However, the British shipped him to the Isle of Man where he remained for several months. Fearing an invasion, the British shipped 3,000 of the POWs, including Kassel, to Quebec, where he was briefly interned at a POW camp set up at the Plains of Abraham. In October 1940, he was moved with 736 other refugees to an abandoned railway yard (later known as “Camp N”) in Newington, near Sherbrooke, Quebec. While there, he confronted a great deal of antisemitism from the guards.
While he was interned in Quebec, the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) interviewed him and other Jewish prisoners in order to lobby for their release. Realizing that the internees were not POWs, the Canadian government declared the camp a refugee camp in 1941. By October 1942, the CJC was successful in helping Heinz secure employment with Benjamin Pape & Company in Toronto.
Heinz met Reta Freeman in Toronto and they were married in November 1944. Reta was born and raised in Toronto. After their nuptials, they were both briefly classified as enemy aliens and had to report to the RCMP on a regular basis. Shortly thereafter, Heinz enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army and was sent to basic training in Manitoba. On January 21, 1946 he was granted landed immigrant status, and in April of that year, he became a citizen.
After the war, Heinz learned that his parents as well as other relatives had been transported to concentration camps and had not survived. He was certainly one of the few fortunate ones to leave the country, despite the circumstances of his removal. He resented being interned for so long, but did not blame the British for rounding him up with other Germans based on their initial fears regarding enemy aliens. His feelings about Canada's treatment of him during that time, however, were not as sympathetic.
The couple lived their lives in Toronto. They first resided at 2346 Yonge Street. Heinz legally changed his name to Henry Cassel. He worked as an accountant and later was a controller for the United Jewish Welfare Fund. The couple had two children: Andrew (b. 1947) and Richard (b. 1951). Reta passed away in August 1962 and Henry later remarried Esther Cassel. He passed away at the age of 96 on February 15, 2009.
Custodial History
Records were created and accumulated by Henry Cassel. His sons donated them to the OJA after his death.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the life of Henry Cassel, particularly his attempt to emigrate from Europe prior to the Second World War and his internment in Canada as a German prisoner of war (POW). Included is personal correspondence between Cassel and his parents; correspondence written by Cassel to potential employers and Canadian Jewish agencies; legal documents and certificates, such as Cassel's birth certificate and passport; family photo albums documenting the family and lives of Henry Cassel and his wife Reta; Cassel's autobiography; a journal and notebook written by Cassel during his internment; and, other internment records, such as government forms and poems and songs written by internees. Also included are newspaper clippings, articles, financial statements, genealogical research, and antisemitic ephemera collected by Cassel. Of particular note are newsletters that were produced during the 1990s by ex-internees who had kept in touch over the years. Records are arranged into 16 files.
Notes
Textual records in the fonds were reduced from ca. 20 cm to 8 cm. Please see accession record for further details about the culled material.
Associated material notes: for related records at other archives, please see: the UJRA case files at the National CJC Archive in Montreal and the holdings at Library and Archives Canada (such as, the Directorate of Internment Operations series in the Department of National Defense fonds R112-0-2-E)
Name Access
Cassel, Henry, 1912-2009
Subjects
Europe--Emigration and immigration
Prisoners of war
Access Restriction
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Related Material
See: Canadian Jewish Congress case files in RG 282 and accession #2005-10-1.
Creator
Cassel, Henry, 1912-2009
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
5
Material Format
textual record
Date
1921-2000, predominant 1935-1939
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of correspondence and legal records documenting Henry Cassel's emigration from Germany and attempt to immigrate to the United States of America. Included is Henry's passport, nationality identification card, birth certificates, driving certificates, USA immigration sponsorship application, correspondence regarding his application to enter the USA, criminal background checks, a citizenship visa for Italy, and a registration card indicating Henry's place of employment. Also included are newspaper clippings that were collected by Henry regarding the Jewish community of Ferrara, Italy (a region that Henry had travelled through).
Notes
Photocopies of some Italian and German records with translated titles are attached to the accession record.
Access Restriction
Closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing the records.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 6
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
6
Material Format
textual record
Date
[ca. 1940]-1947, 1996
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of Henry Cassel's personal and legal correspondence. The bulk of the correspondence is between Henry and his parents during his internment in Canada. Also included is correspondence between Henry and his cousin just after the war in which he learns of his parents' death, and legal correspondence regarding his parents' possessions. Finally, file contains correspondence regarding Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony.
Access Restriction
Closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing the records.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care fonds
Publications and publicity series
Level
Series
ID
Fonds 14; Series 10
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care fonds
Publications and publicity series
Level
Series
Fonds
14
Series
10
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Date
1957-2011
Physical Description
35 cm of textual records
1 postcard
Scope and Content
Series consists of textual records and graphic material documenting the Baycrest Centre's various publications and publicity activities. Included is a meeting notice and minutes, a memo, a postcard, articles, a news release, brochures, newsletters, magazines, and bulletins.
Series is arranged into four sub-series: 1. Baycrest News ; 2. Baycrest Bulletins; 3. Baycrest Breakthroughs; and, 4. Attach Your Name to Baycrest.
Related Material
See the Baycrest Centre's website for electronic copies of current issues of Baycrest's publications, including: Baycrest Matters newsletters, the Joseph E. and Minnie Wagman Centre newsletters, and Baycrest Bulletins. A link to the website is here: http://www.baycrest.org/publications-18.php
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Rabbi Nachman Shemen fonds
Level
Series
ID
Fonds 103; Series 1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Rabbi Nachman Shemen fonds
Level
Series
Fonds
103
Series
1
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Date
[192-?]-1993
Physical Description
1.5 m of textual records
35 photographs
Admin History/Bio
The Canadian Federation to Aid Polish Jews in Israel, originally called the Canadian Federation of Polish Jews (CFPJ), was established in 1933 to assist Jews in Poland who were victims of anti-Semitism as expressed in economic boycotts and political discrimination. The CFPJ provided political action and advocacy on behalf of Polish Jews, as well as social help, moral strength and material support. It was a constituent member of the World Federation of Polish Jews, established in 1935, which provided relief and economic assistance to Jews in Poland, and coordinated the assistance given to Jewish communal organizations in Poland. In addition, the CFPJ assisted Canadian landsmanshaften (mutual benefit societies) which were giving support to those communities from which their members had emigrated.
In 1939, following the outbreak of the Second World War, the CFPJ was among those Canadian Jewish organizations which founded the United Jewish Refugee and War Relief Agencies, the purpose of which was to assist in the war effort and to aid war victims. At the conclusion of the war, the UJRWR was renamed the United Jewish Relief Agencies, with an aim to assist refugees in their effort to settle in Canada.
The scope and mandate of the CFPJ has changed over time as new challenges and projects have emerged. In January 1950, its activities expanded to include building homes in Israel for Polish Jewish immigrants, providing local relief to newly arrived Polish Jewish immigrants in Canada, locating relatives and providing legal advice on matters related to passports and visas, contributing to and participating in memorials honouring lost Jewish communities, and maintaining contact with its sister Farbands across the world.
In December 1951, the name of the organization was officially changed to Canadian Federation to Aid Polish Jews in Israel, and as of March 1953, its priorities had shifted to focus increasingly on providing support to Israel.
Scope and Content
Series consists of records documenting the activities of the Canadian Federation to Aid Polish Jews in Israel. Many records provide insight into the relief efforts carried out to assist Jews in Poland and Israel. Included are meeting minutes, agendas, reports, correspondence, speeches, newspaper articles, financial records, conference material, a ledger book, posters and invitations, membership and donation lists, scrapbooks, leaflets, photographs of important events, letters of appeal, visa and identification applications, property claims applications, and letters from individuals requesting aid.
Name Access
Canadian Federation of Polish Jews
Canadian Federation to Aid Polish Jews in Israel
Subjects
Jews--Israel
Jews, Polish
Access Restriction
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
Places
Israel
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Rabbi Nachman Shemen fonds
Canadian Federation to Aid Polish Jews in Israel series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 103; Series 1; File 170
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Rabbi Nachman Shemen fonds
Canadian Federation to Aid Polish Jews in Israel series
Level
File
Fonds
103
Series
1
File
170
Material Format
textual record
Date
1950-1954
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of lists and correspondence regarding packages sent for relief in Israel. The contributions sent in 1950 were for Pesach and Hanukkah. The contributions sent in 1954 (5715) were for Rosh Hashanah.
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Rabbi Nachman Shemen fonds
Canadian Federation to Aid Polish Jews in Israel series
Level
File
ID
Fonds 103; Series 1; File 173
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Rabbi Nachman Shemen fonds
Canadian Federation to Aid Polish Jews in Israel series
Level
File
Fonds
103
Series
1
File
173
Material Format
textual record
Date
[195-]-[196-]
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of correspondence regarding packages sent for relief in Israel. The contributions sent in 1950 were for Pesach and Hanukkah. The contributions sent in 1954 (5715) were for Rosh Hashanah. The contributions sent in 1955 (5715) and 1959 (5719) were for Pesach.
Source
Archival Descriptions
7 records – page 1 of 1.