Child Identity Card of Erich Grunebaum

Child identity card issued to Erich Grunebaum (later Eric Greene) by the German government for the purpose of emigrating to France on a children's transport.

Unknown Manufacturer

In the years leading up to and through World War II efforts were made to rescue Jewish children from Germany and Nazi-occupied countries. Relief organizations from France, England, and the United States transported children away from Nazi persecution and took responsibility for their care.   

Erich Grunebaum was born in 1928 in the German town of Hellstein. In 1939, following the terror and destruction of Kristallnacht, Erich’s parents sent him on a children’s transport to France to ensure his safety. There, he was cared for by Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) and lived in several Jewish orphanages run by the organization. When France surrender to the Nazis he was sent to the United States and became one of the approximately 1,000 unaccompanied Jewish refugee children who found safe haven in America. After the war, while living with a foster family in Chicago, Erich learned that his parents and sister had been killed at Auschwitz.

His autobiography, titled The Lonliest Boy in the World, is available through the Spertus Archives and his recorded testimony is available through the Shoah Foundation. 

  • Child's Prayer Shawl, France, ca. 1939

    Gift of Eric Greene

  • Affidavit in Lieu of Passport

    Gift of Eric Greene

    This document was issued by the Consulate of the United States in Marseille for purpose of travel to the USA.

  • Alien Registration Card

    Gift of Eric Greene

  • Bible, Germany, ca. 1900

    Gift of Eric Greene

    This family Bible in Hebrew with German translation was given to Erich by his parents upon leaving Germany. Erich's name was inscribed by his father on inside cover. The Bible was originally owned by Erich's maternal grandfather Hermann Steinberger whose signature also appears.

  • Document of Legal Guardianship

    Gift of Eric Greene

    Document conferring power of attorney for legal guardianship of Erich Grünebaum from his father Jonas Grünebaum to Comité Israélite Pour les Enfants.

Name: Child Identity Card of Erich Grunebaum
Artist: Unknown Manufacturer
Origin: Germany, 1939
Dimensions: 5 13/16 x 4 1/8 in.
Credit: Gift of Eric J. Greene
Catalog Number: 2008.15.2
Asher LibraryChildren With A Star: Jewish Youth in Nazi Europe

Debórah Dwork (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991)

Asher LibraryOut of Chaos: Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust

Elaine Saphier Fox, ed. (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2013)

Asher LibraryI Came Alone: The Stories of the Kindertransports

Bertha Leverton and Shmuel Lowenstein, eds. (Lewes: Book Guild, 1990)

Asher LibraryWe Remember the Children

Jack Salzman and Zelda Marbell Fuksman, eds. (Minneapolis: IGI Publishing, 2001)