The records include personal documents of Herman Berenblum and his family, including birth certificates, graduation certificates, and his certification as a tailor. Textual records also include 5 letters from the 1940s written to Berenblum from his parents in Germany and from a friend in South America. There are 15 loose photographs as well as a photo album that holds 467 photos and 39 postcards. The photographs document Berenblum's travels in Europe and South America, including an apparent visit to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. Records also include a folder of tailor patterns for men's suits.
The records were collected by OJA staff at Mr. Berenblum's apartment. They were in the custody of the property managers of his estate until probate was granted, at which time they were sent to the OJA as requested in April 2009.
Herman Berenblum (1914-2008) was born in 1914 in Lodz, Poland to Joseph (1896-1941) and Cypra (nee Geler) (1897-1941) Berenblum. Herman had a brother, Bernard (192?-2012) and sister, Klara (1923-1941). By the age of six, Berenblum's family had moved to Berlin, where he started school, graduating at the age of 16 in 1930. After graduating from public school, he studied as a tailor, earning his certificate after three years, in 1933. Sometime between 1936 and 1941 Herman was able to leave Germany, settling in La Paz, Bolivia, and by 1947, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1941, Berenblum's mother, father and sister were deported from Berlin to the Riga Ghetto in German-occupied Latvia and then shot by German killing squads on Nov. 30, 1941. In the 1950s, Herman moved to Canada, where his brother Bernard was also living. Here he met his wife. They were married for approximately 50 years, with no children. Herman's wife predeceased him in 2002; he passed away in September, 2008, at the age of 94.
Documents and letters are in German, Polish and Spanish.