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Maine Women Writers Collection

Judith Magyar Isaacson Papers, 1976-1990

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Volume: 3 linear feetisaacsonj-portraitfix

Organization/Arrangement: Organized into four series:
I. Drafts and research
II. Publication and reviews
III. Appearances and students' responses
IV. Memorabilia

Biographical Note: Judith Magyar was born in Kaposvar, Hungary in 1925. In 1944, when she was 19, her family was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where her grandmothers and an aunt were killed upon arrival. Judith, her mother, and her aunt were then sent to Hessisch Lichtenau, and were finally liberated by American forces in April 1945. Judith met Irving Isaacson, a captain of the U.S. Army Office of Strategic Services in May of 1945, and were married shortly after. The couple moved to the United States in 1946, and settled in Lewiston, Maine.

In 1965, Judith earned her Bachelor's Degree in mathematics from Bates College and her Master's Degree in mathematics from Bowdoin College two years later. She taught math at Lewiston High School for three years and in 1969 was hired to be the Dean of Women, and then the Dean of Students in 1975 at Bates College. As dean, Judith was tireless in her efforts to end college practices that were biased against women and emerged as a public advocate for women's rights. She also held a position on the Board of Overseers of Bowdoin from 1984 to 1996.

In 1976, after discussing her experiences in the Holocaust with a group of students, Judith was compelled to record the memories. Her memoir, Seed of Sarah: Memoirs of a Survivor, was published by University of Illinois Press in 1990. The book has been translated into several languages and was adapted into an opera and subsequent film. Judith has lectured widely; served on the boards of several institutions, including the Auburn Public Library; received honorary doctorates from many educational institutions; and was the recipient of the University of New England’s Deborah Morton Award and the Hargraves Presentation of Freedom Prize.

Description: This collection documents Isaacson's research and writing of Seed of Sarah, her Holocaust memoir. The collection consists of research material, including papers relating to a reunion of former inmates of the Lichtenau concentration camp. Also included are original drafts with editorial comments and revisions, publication documentation, and reviews of the published book. There is also material documenting Isaacson's public appearances, including reactions and correspondence from New England students and teachers.

Access Restrictions: None

Please cite as: Judith Magyar Isaacson papers, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, Maine

Container List:

I. Drafts and Research

001.  Research
002.  Research in Hungary – Kaposvar, 1977
003.  Unused illustrations
004.  Research - Lichtenau
005.  Research - Lichtenau
006.  Research - Lichtenau
007.  Research - Lichtenau
008.  Research - Lichtenau
009.  Research - Lichtenau
010.  Research - Lichtenau
011.  Research - Lichtenau
012.  Research - Lichtenau
013.  Research - Lichtenau
014.  Research - Lichtenau
015.  Research - Lichtenau
016.  Research - Lichtenau
017.  Research - chronology
018.  Drafts, Jan, 1990
019.  Drafts - reader comments
020.  Drafts - reader comments
021.  Drafts - reader comments
022.  Drafts - reader comments
023.  Drafts - reader comments
024.  Drafts - acknowledgements
025.  Drafts - [reader: Daniel Griffin]
026.  Drafts - reader: Eva Balogh - notes and letter
027.  Drafts - [reader: Ilona Bell 1/2]
028.  Drafts - [reader: Ilona Bell 2/2]
029.  Drafts - outlines
030.  Drafts - chapter titles
031.  Drafts - Terror of rape
032.  Drafts - chapter 2
033.  Drafts - chapter 6
034.  Drafts - summer, 1987
035.  "Seed" book jackets
035a.  "Seed" on tape [diskettes]

II. Publication and Reviews

036.  Yale Review [contract]
037.  Yale Review [excerpt]
037a.  "Seed of Sarah: A Memoir" in the Yale Review, [April 1984]
038.  Yale Review - comments
039.  TV - radio
040.  Barnes
041.  Maine - Bangor
042.  Maine
044.  Maine - Brunswick
045.  Maine - schools, libraries, Maine publishers
046.  Kliatt teens - Kliatt
047.  Teens - young adult
048.  Teens - Top Teen
049.  Teens - University Press Books
050.  Publishers Weekly
051.  Women
052.  Bowdoin
053.  Commonweal, Globe
054.  Jewish
055.  Hungarian publisher - Kiado - Javita's motto
056.  Hungarian publisher - Kiado - Gimnazium
057.  Hungarian publisher - Kiado - Magay
058.  German publisher - Ekopan [Verlag]
059.  German publisher - Allein mit d.k.  [chap.  9]
060.  German publisher - book readings
061.  German publisher - Anja [correspondence]
062.  German reviews
063.  German reviews - Frankfurt
064.  German reviews - Gottingen
065.  German reviews - placards - schedule

III. Appearances and Reader Responses

066.  Posters and comments
067.  Maine - kids
068.  Audience - adult
069.  Class reactions
070.  Hyde School
071.  Teachers' reactions
072.  Reactions
073.  [Reactions sent] to Ilona, Mark, and John
074.  Bookstores
075.  Colleges and universities
075a.  Colleges and universities interview questions and notes, 1997
076.  Elementary and junior high schools
077.  Limestone High School
078.  Deering H.S.
079.  Presque Isle H.S.
080.  Gould Academy
081.  Messalonskee
082.  Catherine McAuley
083.  Wayneflete
084.  Students - Miscellaneous
085.  Class reaction
086.  Maine Jewish organizations
087.  Maine Catholic/Christian organizations
088.  Non-religious based organizations (not schools)
089.  Non-religious based organizations - junior and senior high schools
090.  Non-Maine - Jewish organizations
091.  Miscellaneous [1/2]
092.  Miscellaneous [2/2]
093.  Non-Maine events - not religious based, not schools
094.  Non-Maine events - non religious based schools
095.  Not referring to religion, not intimate
096.  Refers to Christianity, not intimate
097.  U.S.  News and World Report
098.  School kids' comments
099.  School kids' comments
100.  Schools
101.  First talk and book signing - 11/12/89
102.  Events – Past, 1990
103a.  Bates, "Maine Remembers the Shoah”, 1997
104.  Seed of Sarah P.R., 1999
105.  1990
106.  P.R., 1991
107.  Events - p
108.  Phillips Academy
109.  High schools [1/2]
110.  High schools [2/2]
111.  Maine schools
112.  Holocaust remembrances
113.  Remarks (more Holocaust)
114.  Thank you notes after speeches [1/2]
115.  Thank you notes after speeches [2/2]
116.  Pamphlet: Facing history and ourselves
117.  [Responses; 1995 opera; 1998 film]
118.  Debra G. Fournier, student, review, 1996
119.  Debra G. Fournier, student, presentation, 1997

IV. Memorabilia

120.  Article, Bates College paper, Sept. 19, 1969
121.  Inventory of items given to Bates, 1997
122.  A.E.F.  D.P.  Registration Record, Aug. 11, 1945
123.  Photocopy of passport, 1945
124.  Email to C. Gurley, Dec. 3, 2004
125.  ME State Library Holocaust Center Inventory
 


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