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Charles Millett (Karl Sinai) Papers

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Sinai family papers

Japanese and Chinese official documents

Family Photographs



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Charles Millett (Karl Sinai) Papers, 1930-1982 | Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

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Collection Overview

Title: Charles Millett (Karl Sinai) Papers, 1930-1982Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1930 -- 1945

ID: RG-37/RG-37

Primary Creator: Sinai family (1930 -- 1982)

Extent: 0.0

Arrangement: Materials are arranged by subject/creator, then by identifier, as assigned by the processor.

Subjects: Chinese civilian authorities, Shanghai, Emigration from Nazi-annexed Austria, Immigration to Shanghai, China, Japanese military and civilian authorities, China, Shanghai (China: Ghetto), survival tactics

Languages: Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German, English

Abstract

This record group contains material related to the Sinai Family history. All included collections relate to the immigration from the Nazi-controlled Austria, the life in the Hngkew district of Shanghai, the Jewish ghetto, and the further immigration in postwar time to Australia and eventually to the United States.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This is a collection of official documents issued by Chinese and Japanese administration in relation to the residence of European Jews in the Hongkew District of Shanghai. There are immigration documents related to the Sinai family, as well as official Chinese and Japanese publications regulating residential, business, and personal affairs in Shanghai. This record group contains three sub-collections, namely the collections of the Official Publications, of the Personal Documents and Artifact of the Sinai Family; and the family photographs.

Collection Historical Note

Karl Sinai (Millett) was born in Austria on 27 November 1937. The Sinai family owned steel foundries, which manufactured steam engines. The plant was located in Vienna. During the November Pogrom (Kristallnacht) the plant was vandalized and soon after aryanized (expropriated) by Nazi-Austrian authorities. Feeling unsecure, the family decided to flee Austria.

They managed to escape Austria and after travelling through the USSR they arrived in Shanghai. This part of China was occupied by Japan.

The documents presented in this collection reflect a mundane life in the so-called Jewish ghetto. It was not a ghetto in a German sense. The Hongkew district of Shanghai was an area of restrictive housing for foreign Jews. The Japanese authority did not follow the Nazi schemes with regard to the Jews. There were no actions or liquidation of this ghetto.

The documents of this record group also illustrate the family history in the postwar years, namely emigration to Australia and United states.

RG-37.01, Sinai family papers

RG-37.01.01, Karl Sinai, Birth Certificate

Issued by: Matrikelamt der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde in Wien (Registry Office of the Israeli Cultural Community of Vienna)

Dated: 3 January 1938

Certificate documents the birth of Karl Sinai, son of Ernst and Grete Sinai, on the 27th of November 1937. Signed by Maximilian Spritz, presiding director of the Registry Office

RG-37.01.02, Grete Sinai (Reiss), Certificate of Achievement

Issued by: Das Gremium der Wiener Kaufmannschaft (Commerce Board of Vienna)

Dated: 15 September 1932

Awards Grete Reiss the status of Business Assistant upon the successful completion of her two-year-long apprenticeship at the firm Gebrüder Reiss (Brothers Rice). Signed by the vice president and secretary of the Commerce Board, as well as Grete’s teacher

RG-37.01.03, Notice for Compensation Applications

Issued by: Amt der Wiener Landesregierung (State Government of Vienna)

Dated: Not Dated (Postwar)

The flyer contains information about eligibility for reparation payments from the Austrian government, as well as the procedures for filing claims. Attached are two papers granting power of attorney to Dr. Heinrich Gmoser, a lawyer in Vienna

RG-37.01.04, Divorce Settlement Papers, German translation

Issued by: First Special District Court Shanghai

Dated: 25 March 1945

Verifies the divorce between Ernst and Grete Sinai and lays out an agreement concerning children and possessions to which the two will adhere in the future

RG-37.01.05, Teaching Contract

Issued by: Gremium der Wiener Kaufmannschaft (Commerce Board of Vienna)

Dated: 16 September 1930

Lays out a teaching agreement whereby Grete Reis will do an internship at the Gebrüder Reis firm for two years (to be completed on 15 September 1932). It is signed by Sigismund Reis

RG-37.01.06, Grete Sinai (Margaret Eva Millett), death certificate

Issued by: Melbourne, State of Victoria

Registration No.: 13331/82

Dated: 14 June 1982

Issued by the city of Melbourne to confirm and record the death of Margaret Eva Millet at the age of 66. Her occupation is listed as housewife and her place of death is noted as the town of Fitzroy

RG-37.01.07, Air Passage Receipt

Dated: 27 October 1946

A receipt issued by a travel agent indicating that a sum of $400 dollars has been paid by Grete Sinai for airfare between Manila and Sydney

RG-37.01.08, Grete Sinai, Passenger Receipt

Dated: 26 October 1946

Issued by: Philippine Air Lines, Inc.

A receipt issued by the airline showing that $225 dollars have been paid by Grete Sinai and her child for a flight from Hong Kong to Manila

RG-37.01.09, Karl Sinai, application for non-immigrant visa to U.S.

Dated: 24 October 1946

Issued by: American Foreign Service

This document lists the date and place of Karl Sinai’s birth and states that Karl’s stay in the U.S. is limited to a few hours as he makes his way to Australia. It is noted that Karl is travelling with his mother, Grete Sinai. Grete signs for Karl

RG-37.01.10, Grete Sinai, dictated will, Shanghai

Dated: 6 September 1944

Drafted by: Hans Ledien

Grete’s will makes provisions for Karl’s future in the event of her death. She forbids her former husband, Ernst Sinai, from having custody of Karl and claims that he is a drug addict. Instead, she appoints Mrs. Valerie Sinai (nee Mayer) of Shanghai as the guardian

RG-37.01.11, Grete Sinai, O.R.T. certificate

Issued by: Society for the Promotion of Handicrafts and Agriculture for Jews in the Far East

Dated: 3 June 1945

This certificate documents Grete Sinai’s successful completion of a six-month machine knitting course

RG-37.01.12, Instrument Publishing Change of Name for Grete Sinai and her son

Dated: 18 December 1947

Issued by: Office of the Registrar General at Sydney in the State of New South Wales

This Certified Copy Order No. 17676 documents Grete Sinai’s and her son’s, Karl Sinai’s, official name change. Grete Sinai adopted the Christian names of Margaret Eva and adopted the Christian names of Charles Harry for her son. She also adopted the substituted surname of Simpson for herself and her son. The document was received into the Office of the Registrar General 18 December 1947

RG-37.01.13, Anna Reiss (Grete Sinai), Australia, Department of Immigration, Official Correspondence

Dated: 9 April 1962

Issued by: Department of Immigration, Australia

This official correspondence asks for Anna Reiss (Grete Sinai) to send a photograph to the Commonwealth Migration Office to comply fully with the laws of the Aliens Act 1947-1959

RG-37.01.14, Grete Sinai, Application for US Nonimmigrant Visa

Dated: 24 October 1946

Issued by: American Foreign Service, Hong Kong

This document lists the date and place of Grete Sinai’s birth and states that Grete’s stay in the US is limited to a few hours as she and her son make their way to Australia

RG-37.01.15, Letter to Federal Ministry for Property of Austria, 1947

Dated: 18 January 1947

Issued by: Federal Ministry for Property Control and Economic Planning, Vienna, Austria

Document in German

RG-37.01.16, Charles Millet, Biography

RG-37.01.17, Grete Sinai, Gebrueder Reiss firm, job verification (copy)

Dated: 15 September 1932

Issued by: Gebrueder Reiss firm

This certificate verifies Grete Sinai’s employment at Gebrueder Reiss in Vienna, Austria from September 15, 1930 to September 15, 1932 and describes her as a hard worker. The letter is in German

RG-37.02, Japanese and Chinese official documents

RG-37.02.01, Ernst Sinai, Census Form, Shanghai

Issued by: Navy Pao Chia Office, Shanghai Municipal Police

This Pao Chia Census Form documents Ernst Sinai’s date of arrival in Shanghai, his residence, and the relationship, sex, age, nationality, passport information, occupation, marital status, and length of residence of each of his family members. It lists Ernst Sinai; his mother, Valerie Sinai; his wife, Grete Sinai; and his son, Karl Sinai. The document is in English and Chinese

RG-37.02.02, Karl Sinai Resident Certificate

This certificate lists Karl Sinai as an Austrian refugee and contains his photograph and thumb prints. The certificate is in Chinese and English

RG-37.02.03, Grete Sinai, Certificate of Residence, Shanghai

Dated: 6 July

This Certificate of Residence for Shanghai contains Grete Sinai’s photograph and is written in English, Japanese, and Russian

RG-37.02.04, Grete Sinai, Registration of Foreigners

Dated: 18 July 1942

Issued by: Shanghai French Concession Police

This document registers Grete Sinai as a foreigner in the Shanghai French Concession. It is written in both French and English

RG-37.02.05, Grade Reports for Karl Sinai Issued by Shanghai Jewish Youth Association School

Dated: 25 December 1942 – 25 December 1945

Grade reports written by Karl’s instructors at the school. He receives high marks in almost all classes and is described as intelligent and willing to learn. One report mentions that Karl is clever but needs to behave better

RG-37.02.06, LA Times Article about the Shanghai Ghetto

Dated: 15 July 1997

By: Henry Chu, LA Times Staff Writer

This article details the hardships faced by Jews who lived under Japanese rule in the Shanghai Ghetto and their guilt about having escaped the atrocities being committed in Europe

RG-37.02.07, Ernst Sinai Eyeglasses Prescription

Dated: 5 October 1942

Issued by: Dr. W. Bender

RG-37.02.08, Grete Sinai, Job Verification and Reference

Dated: 19 February 1946

Issued by: Wembley Knitwear, J. Spalter

This letter by the Wembley Knitwear manager verifies Grete Sinai’s employment from July 1945-February 1946 in Shanghai and describes her as an excellent employee

RG-37.02.09, Grete Sinai, Job Reference as a Chief Manager

Dated 30 June 1946

Issued by: Queen Models

This letter verifies Grete Sinai’s employment as a chief manager at Queen Models from February 21, 1946-June 30, 1946 and describes her as an honest and reliable person. The letter states that Grete Sinai is leaving the position to go to Australia

RG-37.02.10, Karl Sinai, Letter in Chinese

Dated: 28 February 1942

Document in Chinese

RG-37.02.11, Grete Sinai, Document in Chinese

Document in Chinese

RG-37.02.12, Ordinance of Japanese Military Authorities in Shanghai on the introduction of a ghetto regime in the Restricted Sector for Stateless Refugees. Issued 17 February 1943

RG-37.02.13, Permit for Sojourn in the Kwantung Province

Document in Chinese

RG-37.03, Family photographs

RG-37.03.01, Karl Sinai, Album 1

Tan photo album with a picture of a youth with landscape

Dates: 1937-1938

The early life of Grete’s son Karl is documented through photographs. Nearly all of the photographs feature him in some way—occasionally with his grandmother, occasionally with his mother. The second photograph is of an unidentified cathedral, with caption “Wachau 1937”

RG-37.03.02, Karl Sinai, Album 2

Green photo album with stylized golden bird on the cover

Dates: unknown but likely circa 1937

This album documents a trip through Italy. Photographs include Rome, the island of Capri, and the towns of Positano, Florence, and Venice. The family visited landmarks in each city. From Rome there are photographs of the Vatican. From Venice, the Cathedral of St. Mark

RG-37.03.03, Karl Sinai, pages from family album (1)

RG-37.03.04, Karl Sinai, pages from family album (2)

RG-37.03.05, Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet, family photographs 1

RG-37.03.06, Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet, family photographs 2

RG-37.03.07, Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet, family photographs 3

RG-37.03.08, Sinai Family, Album 3

Blue photo album with black trim

A large number of the photographs in this album document Grete’s life as a girl and young woman. The earliest dated photograph is from 1922, although the span of the remaining photographs is wide. Location of the photographs is never noted but is assumed to be Austria. The last several pages contain an unidentified woman sitting by a beach and a man with glasses

RG-37.03.09, Photo Album

Title: “Potsdam” (Name of the ship on which the family travelled)

Dates: 12 September – 9 October 1938

This extensive photo album chronicles the voyage from Genoa, Italy to Shanghai. Means of entertainment along the course of the voyage – music and golf on the deck – are photographed. The first mentioned port of call is Belawan, Indonesia. Pictures of the dock are shown. From Belawan, the family visits the town of Medan, only several miles away. It is clear that a car was used for the journey. The boat then departs for Singapore. Pictures of Singapore’s harbor accompany this note. Next is the town of Jahore Baru in Malaysia. Included are photos of locals and a group of small monkeys. The last stop noted is Hong Kong

Biographical Note

There is a family history of immigration from Nazi-controlled Austria to China, Australia and United States

Subject/Index Terms

Chinese civilian authorities, Shanghai
Emigration from Nazi-annexed Austria
Immigration to Shanghai, China
Japanese military and civilian authorities, China
Shanghai (China: Ghetto)
survival tactics

Administrative Information

Repository: Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions

Copyrighted materials, credits to and references to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust are required

Digital copies might be available upon request

Use Restrictions: Copyrighted materials


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Sub-Collection:

[Sub-Collection 1: Sinai family papers, 1930 --1945],
[Sub-Collection 2: Japanese and Chinese official documents],
[Sub-Collection 3: Family Photographs, 1926--1946],
[All]

Sub-Collection 3: Family Photographs, 1926--1946Add to your cart.
A collection of family photographs.  The various albums include photographs from Shanghai and Australia.  Includes photographs of Grete Sinai as a child as well as various relatives.
Subject/Index Terms:
family photographs
Shanghai (China: Ghetto)
Creators:
Sinai family (1930 -- 1982)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 1: Karl Sinai, Album 1, 1937--1938Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
The early life of Grete's son Karl is documented through photographs.  Nearly all of the photographs feature him in some way--occasionally with his mother, occasionally with his grandmother.  The second photograph is of an unidentified cathedral, with caption "Wachau 1937".
Subject/Index Terms:
family photographs
Jewish personal belongings
Jewish life, pre-war
Photographs, ghettos
Photographs, family members
German, language
Creators:
Sinai family (1930 -- 1982)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 2: Karl Sinai, Album 2, 1937Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
This album documents a trip through Italy.  Photographs include Rome, the island of Capri, and the towns of Positano, Florence, and Venice.  The family visited landmarks in each city.  From Rome there are photographs of the Vatican.  From Venice, the Cathedral of St. Mark.
Subject/Index Terms:
family photographs
Photographs, pre-Second World War
Jewish personal belongings
Jewish life, pre-war
Italy (1922--1940)
Rome (Italy)
Capri (Italy)
Positano (Italy)
Venice (Italy)
Florence (Italy)
Photographs, family members
Creators:
Sinai family (1930 -- 1982)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 3: Karl Sinai, pages from family album (1)Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Pages from the Sinai family photograph album.
Subject/Index Terms:
Personal belongings
Jewish life, pre-war
Photographs, pre-Second World War
family photographs
Photographs, family members
Creators:
Sinai family (1930 -- 1982)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 4: Karl Sinai, pages from family album (2)Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Pages from the Sinai family photograph album.
Subject/Index Terms:
Photographs, pre-Second World War
Photographs, family members
Jewish life, pre-war
family photographs
Photographs, children
Photographs, cities
Creators:
Sinai family (1930 -- 1982)
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 5: Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet, family photographs 1Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet family photographs.
Subject/Index Terms:
family photographs
Personal belongings
Jewish life, pre-war
Photographs, cities
Photographs, children
Photographs, family members
postcards
Creators:
Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet Family
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 6: Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet, family photographs 2Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet family photographs.
Subject/Index Terms:
family photographs
Personal belongings
Jewish life
Photographs, family members
Photographs, children
Creators:
Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet Family
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 7: Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet, family photographs 3Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet family photographs.
Subject/Index Terms:
family photographs
Jewish life
Personal belongings
English, language
Photographs, children
Photographs, cities
Photographs, family members
Creators:
Sinai-Reiss-Simpson-Millet Family
Document/Artifact of Item-Level 8: Sinai Family, Album 3Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
A large number of the photographs in this album document Grete's life as a girl and young woman.  The earliest dated photograph is from 1922, although the span of the remaining photographs is wide.  Location of the photographs is never noted, but is assumed to be Austria.  the last several pages contain an unidentified woman sitting by a beach and a man with glasses.
Subject/Index Terms:
family photographs
Jewish life, pre-war
Personal Documents
Photographs, family members
Photographs, children
Austria (Europe)
Photographs, cities
Creators:
Sinai family (1930 -- 1982)

Browse by Sub-Collection:

[Sub-Collection 1: Sinai family papers, 1930 --1945],
[Sub-Collection 2: Japanese and Chinese official documents],
[Sub-Collection 3: Family Photographs, 1926--1946],
[All]


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