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Eastern Europeans and Russians


Einstandig, Max Collection, 1880–2009. M 0842, OMB 0100. Thirteen manuscript boxes, one oversize box, two folders of photographs, one folder of color photographs, one flat file, three artifacts. Collection guide online. Max Einstandig was born in Vienna, Austria, on June 15, 1912, to Jacob and Yetta Einstandig. He came to the United States on July 10, 1914, settling with his family in Indianapolis. In 1934, Max married Bess Peltz; they had three children. He sold furniture in South Bend and Chicago, then in 1946 to 1947 opened JEBB’s (the name created from the first names of his wife and his three children) in Terre Haute. Max Einstandig was heavily involved in Jewish community organizations at the local and national levels, most notably B’nai B’rith and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Einstandig was a founder of the Indiana Jewish Historical Society. Max Einstandig died on Nov. 12, 2006. The collection contains Einstandig’s personal work papers, as well as material distributed by and about the various Jewish organizations of Indiana. The collection is divided into five series; covering four significant organizations (Indiana Jewish Historical Society,B’nai B’rith, Hillel and B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, and the Anti-Defamation League) and miscellaneous papers.

Einstandig, Max Collection Addition, Ca. 1880-2009. M 1015, OM 0508. Seven manuscript boxes, one OMB box, one OVC folder, one box of photographs, one artifact. Collection guide online. This collection represents an addition to the original Max Einstandig Collection (M 0842).  The collection contains the personal and business files of Max Einstandig, but also includes personal memorabilia of Max and Bess Einstandig and their extended families, along with items related to the Jewish community of Terre Haute, specifically the Jewish War Veterans chapter.


Nizamoff, Christo N. Oral History Interview, 1986. CT 0453–0454. Two audio cassettes. No collection guide available. Nizamoff immigrated from Macedonia to Indianapolis in 1930. He was the founder and editor of the Macedonian Tribune and lay leader of St. Stephen’s Eastern Orthodox Church. 


Blain, Michael A. Materials, 1937–2010. M 1011. One manuscript box, two oversize folders, two photograph folders, one DVD, one cassette tape, one VHS, six artifacts. Collection guide online. Michael A. Blain was born Maylech Blobstein on March 2 1928, in a village in Carpatho-Ruthenia, which was part of the former Czechoslovakia, later part of Hungary and now part of the Ukraine. At the age of 14, in 1942, Blain’s parents sent him to Budapest, Hungary, to learn a leather-goods trade. In 1944, Nazi forces arrived in Budapest. Upon his return to Czechoslovakia, Blain learned that most of his family members had been sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, where all but his brother, Sam, were killed. For the next few years, Blain lived in multiple countries in Europe until he moved to the United States in 1949.

Cejnar, John A. Collection, 1928–1947. M 0888. One manuscript box, one oversize folder, one photograph box, one box glass negatives, two artifacts. Collection guide online. John A. Cejnar (Jack) was born February 23, 1895, in Pilsen, Bohemia Czechoslovakia, the oldest son of Vaclav and Anna (Bartak) Cejnar. The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Scotland, South Dakota. After graduating high school Jack enrolled at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota but did not graduate. The collection contains many news articles and fictional stories written between 1930 and 1939 by reporter and photojournalist, John A. Cejnar. In his papers and writings he refers to himself as Jack Cejnar. Most of the writing has to do with crimes that took place in Indiana. Cejnar’s fictional stories were based on actual crimes, such as “The Jinx that Stalked the Outlaws, “Feud Ambush on Indiana’s Maul Ridge,” and “Solving the Gunsaulie Murder Grave Horror.” Cejnar also wrote stories on oddities or strange occurrences, such as; “Monster Catfish,” “Two Girls Guard Mightiest Fallen Star,” and “The Hollow Log Automobile.”


William H. Block Company Minute Book, 1907–1932. SC 2981. One bound volume in folder. Collection guide online. Hungarian born William H. Block (Herman Wilhelm Bloch) came to Indianapolis in 1896 and opened a small dry goods store on Washington Street. Around 1900 he annexed an adjacent building which double the size of the business and in 1907 was incorporated as the William H. Block Company. The company opened an eight story building on Market and Illinois streets across from the Traction Terminal in 1910. Block died in 1928 and his sons, Meier, Rudolph and Edward took over the business. Block’s continued its expansion from the 1930s through the 1950s and opened several suburban stores as well as some appliance stores. In 1962 the Block brothers sold the company to New York based Allied Stores Corporation. The company went through several corporate changes from the 1960s through the 1980s with the main store being closed in 1993 because of a lack of profits. The minute book begins with the company’s first stockholder’s meeting on July 2, 1907, and concludes December 20, 1932. In addition to the stockholder’s meeting minutes, there are minutes from the board of directors and items regarding articles of incorporation and stock value reports.

Zwara, John Collection, 1934–2005. SC 0560. One manuscript folder, two framed watercolor landscape paintings. Collection guide online. Hungarian immigrant, John Zwara was a prolific and talented artist who painted mostly landscapes in watercolors. He immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s and wandered for years before settling in Indianapolis in the 1930s. While living here Zwara slept in the streets and subsisted on money he earned by selling his paintings. Recognizing his artistic talent and his need for psychiatric help, local businessman Alexander Vonnegut befriended him and in 1938 brought him to Central State Hospital where he was admitted and diagnosed as schizophrenic. He stayed at the hospital only six months and returned to his life on the streets. The collection contains two watercolor landscape paintings signed and dated by the artist John Zwara, and one folder of manuscript materials about the artist.


Chopin Fine Arts Club (South Bend, Ind.) Records, 1963-1981. SC 2040. Five folders. No collection guide available. The Collection contains programs, printed materials and promotional items for the study of Polish arts, music and literature. 

Falender And Efroymson Records, 1883–2005. M 0848, OMB 101. Three manuscript boxes, one oversize manuscript box. Collection guide online. Julius Falender (1887–1951) was born in Poland, and naturalized as a United States citizen on November 5, 1904. With his brother Samuel, he founded the Falender Iron and Metal Works, a scrap metal business. Samuel and Julius later founded the Illinois and Chesapeake Realty Company, which leased the land for and, in 1928, built and operated the Lockerbie Hotel. Harry Efroymson (1862–1965) was the cousin of retailer Gustave Efroymson of the Real Silk Hosiery Mills. He was the secretary of the Falender Iron and Metal Works. In 1906, Harry’s daughter Ella (1887–1951) married Julius Falender. The collection consists of three manuscript boxes and one oversize manuscript box, the bulk of the contents being papers related to land sales for the Falender brothers’ business interests, especially the Falender Iron and Metal Works and the Lockerbie Hotel. There are also several family papers relating to the marriage of Julius Falender and Ella Efroymson, and a genealogy of the Efroymson, Wolf, and Goldberg families prepared by Marion Cassell in 2005.

Schalet, Samuel W. Photograph, Circa 1930s. P0512. One photograph. Collection guide online. Samuel W. Schalet (1901–1990) was born in Poland as Simcha Wulf but immigrated to Lake County, Indiana shortly after his birth, living in Whiting and Hammond. He was married to Jeanette Schalet and was a member of Congregation Beth Israel.


Kochen, Bessie Passport, 1911. SC 2460. One folder. Collection guide online. Kochen was born in Bosha Chiena, Batchinskaya [Batashoff?] and came to the United States in 1911. The collection consists of a Russian passport (in Russian) with stamps indicating that the bearer traveled to the United States in March and April 1911.

Sevitzky And Spalding Family Papers, 1946-1974. M1209. One manuscript box, one half manuscript box, one folder color photographs, four folders black-and-white photographs. Collection guide online. Mary Spalding studied music at DePauw and Butler Universities specializing in harp. She married Dr. Fabien Sevitzky in 1959. They moved to Miami, Florida in order for Fabien to take a teaching job at the University of Miami. The collection contains letters and clippings that Mary sent to her brother and sister-in-law in Indianapolis detailing the couple's musical life.

Sevitzky, Fabien Papers, 1939-1971. SC 1865. Eight folders. Collection guide online. Fabien Sevitzky was born Fabien Koussevitzky in Vyshny Volochyok, Russia, near Moscow on September 30, 1893. He later shortened his surname to avoid confusion with his uncle Serge Koussevitzky, also a well-known conductor and double bass virtuoso. The Fabien Sevitzky Papers consist primarily of business correspondence from musicians, writers, and politicians, as well as between Sevitzky and his secretary Farell Wagner.