Blank Family Papers / Record Group 07

Title Blank Family Papers

Dates Late 19th c.–2008

Accession Number RG-07

Extent 0.6 linear feet (2 boxes)

Provenance Donated by the Allan Blank

Biographical Note

Margot Blank (nèe Dreyfuss) was born July 31, 1925 in Schmieheim, Germany. In 1938 Margot’s sister, Charlotte Chett (nèe Dreyfuss) was sent away on a kindertransport and was later housed with a foster family in West Point, Georgia. Margot, however, stayed with her parents and moved with them to Freiburg, Germany in 1939 after entering a mandatory Jewish School in the town. The Dreyfuss family was deported to Gurs camp in France in October 1940. Several months later, the family was moved to Camp de Rivesaltes in Pyrénées-Orientales, France. Margot’s father, Jacob Dreyfuss, died in Camp de Rivesaltes on December 9, 1941. Her mother, Ida Dreyfuss, died a moth later on January 1, 1942.

Margot was liberated from this camp in April 1942 by the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE). She was placed in a children’s home (that had been established by les Eclaireurs Istralites de France) in Beaulieu-sur-la-Dordoge, France. In August 1942 the organizations relocated Margot to a convent in Brive-la-Gaillard, France. Six weeks later in October 1942 she was hidden in a convent in Ussel, France. Finally, in 1943, Margot was moved to a convent in St. Amond-sur-Cher, France.

In 1944 Margot registered as a French citizen under the Christian name Micheline Didier. Shortly after she began working for the OES at their Montintin children’s home in France. In 1945 Margot started working at another children’s home near Paris.

Margot immigrated to the States in 1946. She began working as a dental assistant while studying social studies and art at the City College in New York. She obtained her B.A. from this college and went on to get her M.A. in art education from the College of New Rochelle in New York. During this time, Margot also met and married Allan Blank. After Allan took a teaching position in Richmond, the couple moved from New York to Virginia. Margot continued her post-graduate studies in Richmond, taking courses in photography and printmaking at VCU.

Margot Blank continued to work as an artist in Richmond, exhibiting her pieces in several shows and juried exhibits, and was involved in the Richmond arts community. Margot passed away on January 31, 2007.

Restriction on Access No restriction on access  

 Restriction on Use The Blank Family Papers cannot be used for any public purposes without explicit approval and permission from the Blank family.  

Language English, French, and German

Preferred Citation Virginia Holocaust Museum, Record Group 07, Blank Family Papers, [Folder #].

Scope and Content

The Blank Family Papers focus largely on Margot Blank. These Papers include biographical materials, photographs, correspondences, and a number of other documents that depict Margot’s and Allan Blank’s lives both during and after WWII.

Folder 1 contains biographical materials that include notes from interviews conducted with Margot; a copy of Margot’s Virginia Holocaust Museum survivor form, which details her experiences from 1925-1945; and an English and German summary of Margot’s life. Folder 2 has both copies and originals of Margot’s family photographs. Folder 3 consists of camp documents, including death certificates for both of Margot’s parents, as well as correspondences about their funerary monument, and Margot’s workers identity card.

Folder 4 begins to depict Margot’s life after the War, containing professional documents including Margot’s resume, curriculum vitae, and certification documents. Folder 5 contains Margot’s applications for a number of international claims as a Holocaust survivor, and Folder 6 has correspondences about these particular claims. Folder 7 has a book entitled Pourquoi Je Suis Juif and a small journal Margot may have written in.

Folders 8, 9, and 10 contain information regarding and copies of local German research projects that Margot contributed to. They include a project on a Jewish graveyard where some of Margot’s family is buried; a project documenting former Jewish citizens returning to a German town; and a research project on the mandatory Jewish School she attended in Germany. These projects also include information on OSE, and a reunion Margot was unable to attend. Folder 12 contains documentation of Margot’s Shoah oral history interview. Miscellaneous documents are housed in Folder 13 and consist of some of Margot’s correspondences, envelopes, and an academic paper and projects Margot may have been involved with or interested in. Finally, Folder 14 contains letters and pictures from Allan’s family, mainly correspondences written between Gusta and Hymon Blank.

Inventory

[/trow]
Box Folder Contents
1 1 Biographical Materials
1 2 Photographs
1 3 Camp Documents
1 4 Margot Blank professional documents
1 5 Margot Blank applications
1 6 Margot Blank claims correspondences
1 7 Books and journals
1 8 The Jewish Graveyard in Schmieheim
1 9 Documentation of the visit by the former Jewish citizens of Kippenheim
1 10 Mandatory School for Jewish Children in Freiberg 1936 until 1940
2 11 Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE)
2 12 Shoah oral history
2 13 Miscellaneous documents
2 14 Letters and photographs from Allan Blank's family

Indexing Terms

  • Blank, Margot (July 31, 1925–January 31, 2007)
  • Blank, Allan (December 27, 1925 - )
  • Didlier, Micheline (aka Dreyfuss, Margot)
  • Dreyfuss, Margot
  • Dreyfuss, Jacob (September 11, 1882 – December 9, 1941)
  • Dreyfuss, Ida (January 18, 1885 – January 1, 1942)
  • Bloch, Ida (January 18, 1885 – January 1, 1942)
  • Chett, Charlotte (September 30, 1923 - )
  • Dreyfuss, Charlotte (September 30, 1923 - )
  • Gruenbau, Elenor
  • Gunther, Margot
  • Baumann, Hanna
  • Dienst-Demuth, Rosita
  • Blank, Hymon
  • Blank, Gertrude (Gusta)
  • Blank, Harry
  • Davidow, Miriam
  • Camp Gurs
  • Camp de Rivesaltes
  • Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants
  • Departement des Pyrennès Orientales
  • Les Eclaireurs Istralites de France
  • Union Generale des Israelites de France
  • Comitè D’assistance aux Rèfugiès
  • Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc.
  • United Restitution Organization
  • George Hauck & Sohn
  • Jewish Community Federation of Richmond
  • Swiss Funds
  • International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims
  • Schmieheim, Germany
  • Freiburg, Germany
  • Pyrénées-Orientales, France
  • Beaulieu-sur-la-Dordoge, France
  • Brive-la-Gaillard, France
  • Ussel, France
  • St. Amond-sur-Cher, France
  • Paris, France
  • Kippenheim, Germany
  • Rheinbosch of shiem, Germany
  • West Point, Georgia, United States
  • Montintin Children’s Home
  • United States – Emigration and Immigration – History – 20th Century
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