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Collection Number: 05146

Collection Title: Henry Zvi Ucko Papers, 1852, 1931-1993

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 100 items)
Abstract Henry Zvi Ucko (1910-1995) was a writer, teacher, and rabbi in Germany until political conditions and growing anti-semitism led him to emigrate. In 1939, he fled to Amsterdam and then immigrated to the Dominican Republic, where he organized a congregation in Santo Domingo (Ciudad Trujillo) and began researching the history of Jews in that country. He moved to the United States in 1946. The collection includes correspondence, writings, notes, photographs, reference material, clippings, and prayer books relating to Ucko's research into the history of Jews in the Dominican Republic, especially the assimilation of Sephardic Jews into Dominican society. Correspondence chiefly concerns Ucko's attempts to secure funding and a publisher for his research. Also included is correspondence with Haim Horacio Lopez Penha, a writer from the Dominican Republic who encouraged Ucko to write a history of the Jews in the Dominican Republic, and with President Rafael L. Trujillo Molina, who pledged the interest and cooperation of the Dominican government in support of Ucko's research. Writings and notebooks are based chiefly on research conducted in the Dominican Republic in the summer of 1957, with the support of the American Jewish Historical Society and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Also included are photographs of tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Santo Domingo, probably taken during Ucko's research trip in 1957; reference material about Jews and the Dominican Republic; and two prayer books. Many items, including letters and writings, are in Spanish, and some have English translations. Three letters are in German, and the prayer books are in Hebrew, one with an English translation.
Creator Ucko, Henry Zvi.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Henry Zvi Ucko Papers #5146, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Lenora Ucko of Durham, N.C. in February 2004 (Acc. 99721).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Henry Zvi Ucko was born 13 May 1910 in Koenigsberg, Germany. He studied at Universities Koenigsberg in Freiburg from 1928 to 1933. He prepared a doctoral thesis, but no degree was conferred due to political conditions and growing anti-semitism in Germany. In 1938, he served as a rabbi, cantor, and teacher at a high school for the study of Judaism and at a Jewish teacher's education institute. In 1939, Ucko fled Nazi Germany to Amsterdam and then immigrated to the Dominican Republic. En route to Santo Domingo, he lost all his belongings when the boat he traveled on, the Simon Bolivar, either was torpedoed by the Germans or hit a land mine in the North Sea, killing 80. Ucko organized a congregation in Santo Domingo (Ciudad Trujillo), where he and his first wife, Ellie, lived until moving to the United States in 1946. Rabbi Ucko led congregations in Massachusetts (1946-1956) then Mason City, Iowa, and Fayetteville, N.C. (ca. 1959-1983). In 1985, he married Lenora Greenbaum, and in 1988 they moved to Chapel Hill, N.C.

Ucko's research interests during the 1940s and 1950s focused on the history of Jews in the Dominican Republic. In 1945, he gave a public presentation of his dissertation "La Fusion de los Sefardies con los Dominicanos." Ucko returned to the Dominican Republic in 1957 to conduct more research. It is not clear that the research from this trip was ever published. Ucko's book of short stories, The Triumph and Other Stories, was published in 1993.

Henry Zvi Ucko died in 1995.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence, writings, notes, photographs, reference material, clippings, and prayer books relating to Henry Zvi Ucko's research into the history of Jews in the Dominican Republic, especially the assimilation of Sephardic Jews into Dominican society. Correspondence chiefly concerns Ucko's attempts to secure funding and a publisher for his research. Also included is correspondence with Haim Horacio Lopez Penha, a writer from the Dominican Republic who encouraged Ucko to write a history of the Jews in the Dominican Republic, and with President Rafael L. Trujillo Molina, who pledged the interest and cooperation of the Dominican government in support of Ucko's research. Writings and notebooks are based chiefly on research conducted in Dominican Republic in the summer of 1957, with the support of the American Jewish Historical Society and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Also included are photographs of tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in Santo Domingo, probably taken during Ucko's research trip in 1957; reference material about Jews and the Dominican Republic; and two prayer books. Many items, including letters and writings, are in Spanish, and some have English translations. Three letters are in German, and the prayer books are in Hebrew, one with an English translation.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1852, 1931-1993.

About 100 items.

Note that notebooks include page references to issues of the periodicals Boletin del Archivo General de la Nacion (Dominican Republic) and Documentos para la Historia de la Republica Dominicana.

Folder 1

Correspondence, 1944-1946 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 1

Folder 2

Correspondence, 1957-1958 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 2

Folder 3

Correspondence, 1968, 1986 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 3

Folder 4

American Jewish Archives, 1958 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 4

Folder 5

American Jewish Historical Society / Isidore S. Meyer, 1956-1959 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 5

Folder 6

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc., 1957-1958 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 6

Folder 7

Lopez Penha, Haim Horacio, 1956-1958 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 7

Folder 8

Trujillo Molina, Rafael L., 1956-1957 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 8

Folder 9

"La Fusion de los Sefardies con los Dominicanos," 1944 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 9

Folder 10

"Si Senor, I am a Jew," 1946 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 10

Folder 11

"A Good Word for the Dominican Republic and Its People," 1957 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 11

Folder 12

"The Integration of the Dominican Sephardim" #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 12

Folder 13

"Intermarriage in the Dominican Republic, the Topic of an Unknown Play" #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 13

Folder 14

"The Ancient Jewish Cemetery in Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic" #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 14

Folder 15

The Triumph and Other Stories, 1993 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 15

Folder 16

Clippings, 1945-1983 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 16

Folder 17

Notes for a 1954 lecture #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 17

Folder 18

Loose notes from 1957 trip to Dominican Republic #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 18

Folder 19

Notebook I, 1957 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 19

Handwritten draft of "The Hebrew Cemetery in Ciudad Trujillo"

Folder 20

Notebook II and III, 1957 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 20

Folder 21

[Notebook IV], 1957 #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 21

Enclosures include a chapter outline for proposed book "The Absorption of the Sephardim by the Dominicans"

Folder 22

Penha family history #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 22

Folder 23

Prayer books #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 23

The Form of Prayers According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews (1852?); and Mi-penine ha-Ramban: be'ur 'al ha-Torah (1931?)

Folder 24

Reference material #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 24

Folder 1/P-5146

Photographs #05146, Series: "Papers, 1852, 1931-1993." Folder 1/P-5146

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Items separated include oversize papers (OP-5146/1), photographs (P-5146/1), and volumes (V-5146/S1-S2).

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Processing Information

Processed by: Nancy Kaiser, August 2004

Encoded by: Nancy Kaiser, August 2004

Diacritics and other special characters have been omitted from this finding aid to facilitate keyword searching in web browsers.

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