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17 records – page 1 of 1.
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 1
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
1
Material Format
textual record
Date
1993
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of two copies of Henry Cassel's unpublished autobiography, which traces his life story up until 1946. It also briefly touches on the early lives of his parents prior to his birth.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 2
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
2
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1929-[1938?], [ca. 1975]
Physical Description
1 album (ca. 80 photographs) : b&w and col. ; 24 x 31 cm
Scope and Content
File consists of a photograph album documenting the family and early life of Henry Cassel. Included are images of Frankfurt and the Kassel's home, Henry with friends at Berlin University, Henry and his father swimming in a lake, and images of Henry in Italy. Although the majority of the images were taken prior to 1938, a few colour photographs of Italian landscapes are scattered throughout the last half of the album and were likely taken at a later date. Identified in the photographs are: Henry Cassel (Heinz Kassel), Adolf and Olga Kassel, Lotte Midas, Horst Wolfe and Franz Oppenheimer.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 3
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
3
Material Format
graphic material
Date
[ca. 1910]-[1944?]
Physical Description
1 album (ca. 80 photographs) : 25 x 33 cm
Admin History/Bio
Reta Freeman was born in Toronto on December 6, 1920 to Bessie (nee Sugarman) and Israel Freeman.
Scope and Content
File consists of a photograph album documenting the family and early life of Henry Cassel's wife, Reta (nee Freeman). Included are images of the Sugarman and Freeman family at family homes and other places around Toronto, such as, the University of Toronto and Fisherman's Island (later Cherry Beach). Also included are Wellesley Street School class photographs, family portraits and images of family members ice skating, at camps, and in Montreal and Niagara Falls. Near the end of the album are a few images of Reta with Henry Cassel. Also identified in the photographs are Bessie Sugarman, Israel Freeman, Harry Sugarman, and Arthur (Art) Sugarman.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 4
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
4
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Date
1931-1933
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
1 photograph : b&w ; 7 x 9 cm
Scope and Content
File consists of records documenting Heinz Kassel's university education in Germany. The bulk of the records are textual and include study books and academic certificates. Also included is one photograph of Heinz with friends at the Berlin University in 1932. Identified in the photograph are (left to right): Heinz Kassel, Horst Wolf, Tamara (?), Fritz (?), and Franz Oppenheimer.
Related Material
A similar photograph of Heinz with his university friends can be found in the Kassel family photo album (fonds 93, file 2).
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
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 7
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
7
Material Format
textual record
Date
1940-1942
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of records documenting Henry Cassel's internment in England and Canada. Cassel originally maintained these records together in a binder. Included is a journal documenting Cassel's first few months in the camps; correspondence between Cassel and Jewish agencies; instruction sheets and correspondence regarding camp functions and regulations; blank copies of government forms that were filled in by internees in Canada; poems and/or songs written by internees about their experience; newspaper clippings; a copy of the standing orders for the camp; correspondence between the Camp Committee and the Commanding Officer; a financial statement; a program for a play put on in the camp by internees; and, correspondence regarding Cassel's activities as Canteen Steward.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 8
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
8
Material Format
textual record
graphic material
Date
1940-2000, predominant 1940-1943
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
1 photograph : b&w ; 13 x 11 cm
Scope and Content
File consists of records documenting Henry Cassel's internment in Canada. Included is a small hand-made booklet in which Cassel recorded notes about his internment experience; the transcript of a speech delivered to internees upon their arrival at "Camp N"; Cassel's Prisoner of War card and National Registration certificate; a mug shot photograph of Cassel that was taken soon after his arrival in Canada by Canadian officials; Cassel's Certificate of Exemption for enemy aliens; correspondence between Cassel and Jewish agencies; correspondence from various departments of the Canadian government; and, magazine articles collected by Cassel regarding the internment of refugees in Canada. Some of the records are copies obtained by Cassel from his case file in the United Jewish Relief Agencies records at the National CJC archive in Montreal.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 9
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
9
Material Format
textual record
Date
1969, 1996-2000
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of correspondence and issues of the Ex-Internees Newsletter, which was produced by men who had been interned with Cassel in Canada.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 10
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
10
Material Format
textual record
Date
1944, 1946
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of records documenting Henry Cassel's naturalization as a Canadian citizen. Included is a newspaper clipping, Cassel's Oath of Allegiance, and Cassel's Certificate of naturalization.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 11
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
11
Material Format
textual record
Date
12 Nov. 1944, 13 Oct. 1962
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of a photocopy of Henry and Reta Cassel's marriage certificate (ketubah) and a photocopy of a certificate naming Henry Cassel the legal administrator of his late wife's property.
Subjects
Ketubah
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 12
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
12
Material Format
textual record
Date
1946-1947
Physical Description
1 folder of textual records
Scope and Content
File consists of records documenting Henry Cassel's military service in the Royal Canadian Army. Included is correspondence, pay statements, Cassel's discharge certificate, a military request form to return to his previous place of employment, and photocopies of photographs of Cassel and his wife, Reta.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 13
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
13
Material Format
graphic material
Date
1943-1946
Physical Description
1 album (ca. 50 photographs) : 37 x 31 cm
Scope and Content
File consists of one photograph album documenting Henry Cassel's life in Canada from 1943-1946. Included are photographs of Henry and his wife, Reta, around Ontario just before their marriage and in Borden, Manitoba during Henry's military service. Also included are photographs of Henry and Reta during a trip they took to New York City. Of note is a photograph of Henry and Reta on the day of their wedding.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 14
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
14
Material Format
textual record
Date
[193-?]
Physical Description
1 folder of textual record
Scope and Content
File consists of a newspaper clipping and a circular cut-out of a German anti-Semitic Jewish caricature. These records are of unknown origins.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 15
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
15
Material Format
textual record
Date
[ca. 2000]
Physical Description
1 folder of textual record
Scope and Content
File consists of correspondence and family trees documenting the genealogy of the Cassel (Kassel), Midas, Freeman, and Sugarman families. The family trees are traced back to the 1840s.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
ID
Fonds 93; File 16
Source
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Henry Cassel fonds
Level
File
Fonds
93
File
16
Material Format
textual record
Date
1983-1984
Physical Description
1 folder of textual record
Scope and Content
File consists of textual records collected by Henry Cassel documenting the history of his home town and its Jewish community, Aschaffenburg. Included is correspondence, newspaper clippings, a brochure and a booklet.
Accession Number
2010-4-5
Source
Archival Descriptions
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