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Bernard Birnbaum Family Papers

Identifier: Mss 131

Scope and Contents

Researchers studying the Bernard Birnbaum Family papers will gain insight into the Holocaust and Jewish military service. The papers are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder.


  • Creation: 1922 - 1962

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Bernard Birnbaum was a Holocaust survivor from France. He was a child when World War II commenced and spent part of the war in hiding. Following the war he joined the French army and served in Africa. He later married Anna Zwern the daughter of Holocaust survivors, Blanche and Simon Zwern. After the war, Bernard and his mother stayed in Paris. They went back to their old apartment and Bernard continued school. In 1956, Bernard was drafted into the French army. He fought in Algeria and Morocco, where he was wounded and contracted an illness. He was promoted to second lieutenant, but was demoted back to sergeant and imprisoned for fighting with a battalion commander who insulted the Jewish soldiers in the unit. After Bernard finished his military duty in 1958, he decided to it was time to leave Europe. In 1960, he secured an affidavit of support and came to America where he lived in New York City, making his living first as a cart pusher and later a clothing salesman. He met his wife, Annie, and they were married in 1966. They moved to Palm Springs, where Bernard went to work for a fabric company as a salesman and eventually became an executive with the company. The family moved to Atlanta in 1974. In 1983 Bernard started his own textile company.


0.2 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Bernard Birnbaum was a Holocaust survivor from France. The collection consists of immigration and identification documents for members of the Birnbaum and Zwern families. Of special interest is the French identification card of Eli Georges Birnbaum marked with "Juif," the French word for Jew.


All material is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within each folder.

Processing Information

Processed by: Sandra Berman

Bernard Birnbaum Family Papers
Willis Smith
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Repository

1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta Georgia 30309 United States