D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Ari Landau Collection
M2016.05

Summary Information

Repository
UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives
Title
Ari Landau Collection
ID
M2016.05
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1939-1946
Date [inclusive]
1893-1979
Extent
0.1 Linear feet
Physical Description
The collection contains the original July 30, 1945 letter given to Fiszel Landau by a U.S. Army Captain when the Mauthausen camp was liberated as well as a five page biographical history of Fiszel Landau's family. It also contains digitzed photographs of Fiszel Landau and his family. The original photographs were returned to the donor.
Location
Located in Special Collections, Row 4, Section 4.
Language
English
Language of Materials
Materials are in English and German.
Abstract
The Ari Landau Collection contains documents and photographs chronicling the life of Ari Landau’s father, Fiszel Landau, a Polish Ashkenazi Jew who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and the Mauthausen-Gusen slave labor camp.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ari Landau Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville, 28804

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Donor Biographical Note

Ari Landau, the donor of this collection, is a second generation survivor of the Shoah. His father, Fiszel Landau, survived Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and the slave labor camp at Mauthausen. Ari's father started his new Jewish life with the marriage of Ari's mother and the birth of Ari in 1947. Ari's career includes three college degrees: Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in history and his Juris Doctorate in Law. He taught about the Shoah in his high school history classes and to numerous groups for over 40 years. Ari served in the United States Air Force as a JAG Officer and as the Chief Commissioner of the USAF Court of Military Review. Ari coached numerous sports teams for over twenty years, served at food banks and shelters and was part of a team that went to Kenya on a medical mission. He is teaching his Lessons of the Holocaust course at the UNCA Olli program and at Blue Ridge Community College in Western North Carolina.

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Historical Note

The Ari Landau Collection contains documents and photographs chronicling the life of Ari Landau’s father, Fiszel Landau, a Polish Ashkenazi Jew who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and the Mauthausen-Gusen slave labor camp.

Fiszel Landau was born in 1893, and married Fajga Blumstein in 1919. He moved to Piotrkow, Poland, where he ownded a successful millinery shop. Piotrkow had a rich Jewish heritage and was known for its Great Synagogue and for being a center for the publication of Jewish holy books.The Landau family purchased a home there and was active in the Jewish community.

The Nazis invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and on October 8, 1939, the Nazis established Piotrkow as the first ghetto in Poland. Fagja Landau was shot by a Nazi death squad in December, 1942. Fiszel Landau survived in the ghetto until April, 1943, when he was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau where he was forced into slave labor. He was later transferred to the Mauthausen-Gusen slave labor camp, where he was freed when U. S. troops in Patton’s Third Army liberated the camp. Fiszel Landau was wearing rags when the camp was liberated, and U.S. soldiers gave him an American uniform to wear along with a letter dated July 30, 1945, granting him permission to wear the uniform.

This collection includes this letter as well as photographs of Fiszel with U.S. soldiers in the recently liberated Mauthausen camp. It also includes documents from the shop he operated after the war in Hof, Germany, as well as photographs of his family in the 1940s and the 1970s. The collection also includes a 5 page biography of Fiszel Landau and his family written by the donor, Ari Landau, which is the basis for this historical note.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives

Ramsey Library, CPO # 1500
One University Heights
Asheville, North Carolina, 28804-8504
828.251.6645
speccoll@unca.edu

Access

The collection is avaiable for research. The photographs and documents have been digitized and are available on the Western North Carolina Heritage website.

Custodical History

The collection was donated by Ari Landau, 2016.

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Collection Inventory

Box 1 

Folder 1: Letter from US Army captain granting Fiszel Landau permission to wear US Army uniform after liberation of Mauthausen labor camp 

Folder 2: "Shoah to the Mountain," a 5 page biography of Fiszel Landau by his son, Ari Landau