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Leo Levine Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-646 and P-646A

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains photographs of Leo Levine’s artwork, vaccination records, visa applications, passports, correspondence with the United States War Department, newspaper clippings and typescripts. The collection is arranged alphabetically into four series.

This addendum contains additional materials from the family of Leo Levine, particularly pertaining to his wife, Sylvia Shlifer Levine, and their daughter, Helena Levine Ryan. Included are published books and poems by Helena Levine Ryan, including her memoir and a draft of A Prophet in the House, and unpublished memoirs she wrote about her mother, Sylvia, and her grandmother, Deborah Smoller Shlifer. A collection of Sylvia's short stories and poems is also included in the collection. There are also photographs of the Levine family, news clippings about Sylvia and Helena, correspondence about Helena's poetry, and materials relating to Alfred Mirovitch in the collection. Although the materials in this collection primarily focus on Sylvia and Helena Levine, there is additional information about Helena's father Leo and his escape from Latvia, followed by his attempts to assist the United States government during World War II.

Dates

  • undated, 1920s-2010

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English, French, Portuguese, and Latvian.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Biographical Note

Leo Levine was born Leizers Levins in Riga, Latvia, on September 30, 1907. He worked as a European war correspondent until the outbreak of World War II. After immigrating to Dorchester circa 1941, Levine wrote freelance newspaper columns about the war, including several that were published in St. John’s, Newfoundland’s The Telegram. Levine was also an artist. Leo Levine died in November 1980.

In 1943 Leo married Sylvia Shlifer. Sylvia's family immigrated to Ellis Island from Berditchev, Russia in 1913 after a series of pograms threatened the family's safety. The family moved to Boston, Massachusetts and Sylvia later attended Radcliffe College. She met Leo Levine in Canada shortly after his escape from Nazi-occupied Riga, Latvia, and the two married around 1942/1943. Their daughter, Helena, was born in 1944.

Helena Levine Ryan is a poet and piano teacher who studied briefly under concert pianist Alfred Mirovitch. A graduate of Emerson College, she earned her degree in Early Childhood Education and Music Education. She later married Earl Ryan, a clairvoyant, and they had one child, Joel.

Chronology

September 30, 1907
Leo Levine born in Riga.
1938
Levine travels to Berlin.
1938
Levine employed as journalist in Brazil.
1939
Levine travels to United Kingdom.
1940
Levine immigrates to United States.
1980
Leo Levine dies.

Extent

0.75 linear feet (1 manuscript box, 1 half-manuscript box, and 1 OS folder)

Abstract

Leo Levine was born Leizers Levins in Riga, Latvia, on September 30, 1907. He worked as a European war correspondent until the outbreak of World War II. After immigrating to Dorchester circa 1941, Levine wrote freelance newspaper columns about the war, including several that were published in St. John’s, Newfoundland’s The Telegram. Levine was also an artist. Leo Levine died in November 1980.

The addendum contains materials about Leo Levine's wife, Sylvia Shlifer Levine, and their daughter, Helena Levine Ryan. Sylvia immigrated from Russia in 1913 with her family to escape the pogroms. A graduate of Radcliffe College, she wrote short stories and poems, many of which are included in this collection. Their daughter, Helena Levine Ryan, is a poet and piano teacher. Her work, as well as photographs of the Levine family and various published and unpublished memoirs, are included in this collection.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Helena Levine Ryan in 1992. Addendum materials were donated by Helena Levine Ryan in March 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Margaret Whiteside, 2010

Creator

Title
Guide to the Leo Levine Papers, P-646 and P-646A
Author
Processed by Margaret Whiteside
Date
2010

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

Contact:
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States
617-226-1245