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Private Papers of H H Kassman – Folder Summary




אנגליה, טוברוק, לוב, לונדון, צפון אפריקה


H. Henry Kassman


הצבא הבריטי


Imperial War Museum (IWM)

Folder Number:

Doc_18889_Gunner HH Kassman, IWM 11-17


Material from within the Imperial War Museum’s Private Papers of H H Kassman collection. Full collection covers 1940-1945 (possibly more), and consists of letters, postcards, and telegrams sent by Gunner Hyman Henry Kassman to his mother, his fiancée Viviane Maisel (later his wife), his brother Alec, and others. A full list of his assignments and locations can be found in the IWM summary, linked below. The material covered in this database is an excerpt of some 179 pages from within a 507 page file compiled by Kassman’s daughter in 2010. The file is primarily comprised of Kassman’s letters in transcriptions, but also includes transcriptions of some letters written to him, as well as additional information (personal and historical), including clarifications of information in the letters, and reproductions of photographs and documents (letters, sketches, newspapers, maps, concert programs). The portion covered on this database covers Kassman’s time in North Africa, from 1941-1943.

The full file, and the rest of the collection, can be found in the holdings of the Imperial War Museum, listing here.

Per the IWM summary, themes in the material (not all covered here) include:

“[D]escriptions of [Kassman’s] surroundings and the living conditions, his brother Alec serving in the same Regiment, setting up a Battery newspaper called ‘Inaction Magazine’, playing rugby, cricket and chess, observance of Jewish holidays and services at synagogues, news from the Home Front, his Mother remarrying, seeing Italian prisoners, reading books and newspapers, participating in the first Siege of Tobruk (April – December 1941) but with few details of the actual fighting due to censorship, witnessing the aftermath of the Battle of El Alamein, his opinions of North African and Italian people, long periods of boredom, anger at Americans barring him from the American Red Cross club, frequent trips to the opera and ENSA shows, descriptions of post-war Italy and Austria, the 1945 British elections, his poor opinion of lower ranks and Allied Commission for Austria staff in general, his eventual promotion to Staff Sergeant, views on black marketeering, the long wait for demobilisation, planning post-war life, and becoming intensely Zionist following his experiences with refugees in Austria.”

All posts in this database concerning this collection can be found in two ways:

1. The title of each post begins with “Private Papers of H H Kassman”.

2. Every post, including supplemental material such as diary entries, has been tagged “H. Henry Kassman”. Clicking on that tag (available also on this post) should bring up every post in the collection.

Order may be identified according to dates in the post titles, as well as by use of the “reference” section of each post: our copy of the material is divided into PDF files according to date (visible in the file title given in the “reference” section of each post) and each post mentions the page number in the PDF on which the letter (or other material) appears. Thus, for example: under “reference” one might find “Gunner HH Kassman 1-6.1941”, and then in the post will appear, “Page 9”.

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