Guide to the Marks Family Papers, 1905-2001 (bulk 1946-1949)

Rauh Jewish Archives

Summary Information

Repository
Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Title
Marks Family Papers
Creator
Marks Family
Collection Number
MSS 1006
Date [inclusive]
1905-2001 (bulk 1946-1949)
Extent
.25 linear feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
The material in this collection is in English, French, German, and Romanian.
Abstract
The Marks family, with members in Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, and New York, maintained connections with extended family members in Romania. In the aftermath of World War II they made concerted efforts, using both private channels and CARE (Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe) packages, to provide relief, in the form of food, medicine, and money, to their Romanian cousins.

Preferred Citation

Marks Family Papers, 1905-2001, MSS 1006, Rauh Jewish Archives, Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives, Senator John Heinz History Center

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History

Members of the Marks family, originally from Austria, moved to Romania in the 19th century, using the surname Moskovici. Louis Moskovici immigrated to the United States and changed his name to Marks; his brother Bernard Moskovici remained in Bucharest, Romania, and had a daughter Elvira, who married Henry Lindenberg. The family maintained their connections through correspondence, primarily between Elvira Lindenberg and her American cousin Lena (Marks) Livingston, a daughter of Louis Marks.

In the aftermath of World War II, the American cousins made concerted efforts to send relief in the form of money, food, and material goods to their relatives in Bucharest. Lena Marks Livingston and her siblings Samuel and Theodore Marks worked with CARE (originally named Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe, and now named Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere), which was founded in 1945 by 22 American organizations to send food packages to European survivors of the war. Originally the packages, for which American sponsors paid $10 each, contained surplus U. S. Army rations; later the food packages were customized for different countries. CARE began service to Romania in the spring of 1947, and Lena’s letters to Elvira contain details about when she ordered packages, along with family news. Elvira responded with details about which packages actually got to her and reports of her family’s struggle to survive in the devastated Romanian economy. Lena’s records include detailed lists of the food contents of each package, such as beans, sugar, powdered milk, tea bags, and gelatin, as well as receipts from CARE and promotional materials from the CARE office at the courthouse in Pittsburgh.

Later in 1947, Elvira wrote that her husband Henry had been diagnosed with tuberculosis and requested that the Marks family try to send streptomycin, the first antibiotic used in the treatment of TB. Since the drug was available only in the United States, the Marks family had to obtain an export license to ship it, and then Elvira needed an import license to receive it in Romania. Despite burdensome bureaucratic procedures, the antibiotic shipments did reach Elvira.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection provides a detailed record of one American family’s effort to provide assistance to family members whose lives in Romania were severely disrupted in the aftermath of World War II. The collection is stored in one archival box and consists of seven folders with contents arranged in approximately chronological order. Correspondence makes up the bulk of the collection, with some news clippings, deeds, receipts, CARE brochures, and handwritten notes.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Rauh Jewish Archives Senator John Heinz History Center Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania , January 2014

Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives
Senator John Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412-454-6364
library@heinzhistorycenter.org
http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/libraryArchives.aspx

Restrictions on Access

None

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Geraldine Marks Gomberg in 2013, Accession #2013.0083.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Martha L. Berg in October 2013.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • CARE (Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe) USA
  • CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) USA

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)
  • Bucharest (Romania)

Personal Name(s)

  • Livingston, Lena Marks
  • Marks, Theodore
  • Marks, Samuel
  • Lindenberg, Elvira

Subject(s)

  • Food relief
  • World War II (1939-1945)
  • Streptomycin
  • Jews -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Jews -- Romania -- Bucharest

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Collection Inventory

  BoxFolder
Family history 11

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Section: Correspondence

  Folder
1905-19302
  Folder
1946-19473
  Folder
1948-19494
  Folder
undated5

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  Folder
CARE packages, 1947 6

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  Folder
Cemetery information (Pittsburgh), 1913, 1941 7

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