Passport of Awiwa Finkelstejn
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Gift of Aviva F. Blumberg
Id no. 775.91, Document, Polish
Subject(s):  Emigration-DP, Children
Awiwa [Aviva] Finkelstejn (b. 1931) traveled on this passport when she immigrated to the Unites States and reunited with her father, Chaim Finkelstejn, the only other surviving member of her immediate family. As a journalist, Awiwa?s father was attending the World Zionist Congress in Switzerland when WWII broke out and he was unable to return home to Poland. He eventually arrived in the US where he immediately began to try to get visas for his family to join him. This became impossible as the U.S. declared war in December of 1941.

In Poland, Awiwa, her older sister Ester and their mother were interned in the Warsaw Ghetto. In the spring of 1943, family friends urged Awiwa?s mother to let Awiwa pass into the ?Aryan? side of Warsaw with the hope of saving at least one member of the family. Though her mother was reluctant, she gave in to her friends urging after they found Marja Rychowiecka, a poor newspaper and cigarette vender who agreed to take in the child. Monthly support paid by the underground and friends of the family allowed Awiwa to escape to the home of the Rychiwiecki family just ten days before the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in April 1943. Awiwa survived the war, while her mother and sister were killed.

After the war, Awiwa found an old family friend in Warsaw who contacted her father and helped her prepare for her journey to meet him. After receiving temporary care in a children?s home in Otwock, Poland, Awiwa left Poland in September 1945. She traveled to Sweden and Norway, then sailed from Oslo to New York on November 17, 1945, her 14th birthday, arriving in New York on November 28th where she reunited with her father.
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