Schwartz Family Papers
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains letters and translations of letters from Germany, Austria and Hungary to Albany, New York, to and from Max Schwartz and his many family members between 1938 and 1952. These letters contain information about the extended family’s circumstances during World War II. It also contains two books; one compiled by Carroll Edward Schwartz and Martha Stacy which is biographical information of the Newman, Stacy, Avery, Carleton and Paterson families (Myra Schwartz’s family), and the other compiled by Carroll Edward Schwartz and World War II letter writers, which is biographical information about the Schwartz, Weiss and Blau families (Max Schwartz’s family), along with transcribed and translated copies of the letters in the collection. These books also contain photographs, genealogical trees and personal stories.
- Schwartz, Max (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in English and Yiddish.
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Max Schwartz was born on February 3, 1907 in Frauenkirchen, Burgenland, which was then a region in the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, 40 miles southeast of Vienna. The son of Samuel Schwartz and Rita Weiss, Max was one of four children. Max immigrated to the United States with his mother, younger brother and sister from the Port of Rotterdam on the ship Rijndam, and arrived at Ellis Island on June 26, 1921. The Schwartzes traveled to Farrell, Pennsylvania, where Samuel was waiting for them, having immigrated to the U.S. earlier, in 1913.
After just two years in America, Samuel and the Rabbi of Farrell decided Max should be sent to New York City to study at the Yeshiva. After he graduated high school, Max enrolled at the City College, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in math in 1930, just as the Great Depression was beginning. In 1932, he passed a New York State actuary exam, and began working in Albany, New York as a senior actuarial clerk in 1933. In 1936, he became senior examiner for the New York Insurance Department.
From 1938 until America’s entry into World War II in 1941, letters were sent from Austria describing the conditions of Jewish relatives living under the Nazis and asking for help. Many of these letters were forwarded to Max, who supplied financial support to some family members. During this time, Max married a woman he met in Albany, Myra Newman, and they had a son, Carroll Edward (Ed), in 1939.
Max helped to draft laws that were written to regulate the sale of health insurance in the state of New York, and in 1950, became the first insurance actuary with responsibility for approving rates charged for all policies sold in New York State. During the Eisenhower administration, he was sent to Washington to help draft a preliminary version of the Medicare program that was enacted into law a number of years later. He was also involved in the creation of no-fault auto insurance legislation for New York State. He retired from the New York State Insurance Department in 1978 after 44 years of service. Myra Schwartz died in 1979 from pneumonia after having emphysema for 15 years. Max died in 1997 in Arlington, Massachusetts.
- Materials from the collection.
- Max Schwartz is born.
- Max immigrates to the United States with his mother, younger brother and sister from the Port of Rotterdam on the ship Rijndam, arriving at Ellis Island.
- Max achieves a Bachelor of Science degree from City College in New York.
- Max becomes senior examiner for the New York Insurance department.
- Max marries Myra Newman, and they have a son, Carroll Edward (Ed).
- Max becomes the first insurance actuary with responsibility for approving rates charged for all policies sold in New York State.
- Max retires from the New York State Insurance Department in 1978 after 44 years of service.
- Myra Schwartz dies from pneumonia.
- Max Schwartz dies in Arlington, Massachusetts, a few days short of his 90th birthday.
0.5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)
This collection contains the papers of the Schwartz family, with the bulk of materials being letters to and from family members in Austria and Hungary before and after World War II. It contains the original letters written in Yiddish, transcribed and translated versions of those letters, and two compilation books published in 2013 by Carroll Schwartz. These two books include extensive biographical information about the Schwartz and Newman families, photographs, maps, genealogical trees, and additional copies of the letters.
Located in Boston, Mass.
Donated by Carroll Edward Schwartz in August 2016.
Processed by Hannah Yetwin, 2017
- Guide to the Schwartz Family Papers, P-1027
- Processed by Hannah Yetwin
- Language of description
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