MS 202 Hymen Saye Collection 1922-1989

Posted on May 10th, 2012 by

Hymen Saye (1907-1993) Collection


MS 202

The Jewish Museum of Maryland

Accession and Provenance

The Hymen Saye collection was donated to the Jewish Museum of Maryland by Hymen Saye as accession 1991.7.  The collection was processed byRebeccaLouderback in March 2012.

Access to the collection is unrestricted and is available to researchers at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  Researchers must obtain the written permission of the Jewish Museum of Maryland before publishing quotations from materials in the collection.  Papers may be copied in accordance with the library’s usual procedures.

Hymen Saye teaching at Talmud Torah, 1928. 1991.7.13

Biographical Sketch

Hymen Saye was born in Baltimore in 1907.  His father Louis Saye, arrived in Baltimore from Latvia, in 1904.  Once he had a job as a tailor and a place to live, Louis sent for his wife and two daughters.  Growing up in a Yiddish only household, Hymen and his sisters spoke English only to each other and outside the home.  Louis Saye would eventually learn English, however Hymen’s mother never made the attempt.

Saye attended public schools # 73 on Aisquith and Orleans and school # 40.  Saye’s father made sure he attended Talmud Torah (later Talmudical Academy) in the evenings,.  Hymen participated in a junior congregation where he was the chazzan on shabbos.  At 14 or 15 he was given a class to teach at Talmud Torah on the condition that he would attend Baltimore Hebrew College (later Baltimore Hebrew University).  By age twenty four he was teaching forty hours a week.

Baltimore Hebrew College faculty. Featured include: Hymen Saye (6th from left), Harry Teback (5th from left), Bill (William) Furie (8th from left), and Leon Rivkin (far right). n.d. 1991.7.17

While still learning at Baltimore Hebrew College, Hymen attended City College and graduated in 1926. He stayed at City College for five years because he changed his courses from commercial to academic.  He received a teaching degree from Baltimore Hebrew College, which he attended in the evenings.  During the day he attended classes at Johns Hopkins.  In 1931, he became the principle of Chizuk Amuno Congregational School and received his M.A. from Johns Hopkins University.  Hymen retired from Chizuk Amuno in 1971.

Laura S. Saye. 1991.7.36

In 1931 Hymen married Laura Seidman, whom he had met at a picnic when he was about 14 or 15.  She was also interested in education and became a public school teacher after getting her degree at Towson Teacher College(now Towson University).  Early on Laura taught in East Baltimore, but because of her superior performance she was transferred to Mount Washington. She was the first Jewish teacher on the Mt.Washington facility. Laura shared similar interests with her husband, travel, Jewish ceremonial objects, Jewish art, languages, and pro-Israel activities.  Hymen Saye died in 1993.


Saye, Hymen. Interviewed by Gertrude Nitzberg , 10 & 16 March 1983.  OH 183, Jewish Museum of Maryland, Baltimore MD.

“Chizuck Amuno School Director Retiring,” The Baltimore Sun, June 28, 1971, B6.

Hymen Saye teaching an Introduction to Hebrew at the College of Jewish Studies, November 1947. 1991.7.30

Scope and Content

The Hymen Saye Collection contains materials related to his personal life and his education.  This collection contains letters, invitations, programs, a bulletin, a yearbook, a manuscript translation, testimonials, speeches, a membership card and a loan contract. This collection is divided into two series: name series. Series I. Personal Papers, 1922-1989 and Series II, Professional Education, 1922-1985.  Series I. Personal Papers, 1922-1989 includes letters to and from Hymen and Laura Saye, as well as correspondence from various familial relations and friends.  The series is organized chronologically. Series II. Professional Education, 1922-1985 consists of materials relating to Hymen’s job as a Jewish educator and professional interests.  The materials have been organized alphabetically by folder.
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The Abiding Impact of the NurembergTrials

Posted on August 19th, 2011 by

A blog post by Education Director Deborah Cardin.

On August 8, 1945, the Allied victors in World War II entered into an agreement to establish the Nuremberg Trials in an attempt to carry out justice against perpetuators of the Holocaust. 61 years later, the impact of the Nuremberg Trials can be seen in today’s headlines about trials against notorious genocide masterminds. Although genocide was not yet a classified charge (indeed it was not until later that the term was accepted as a criminal charge in international law thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Rafael Lempkin who coined the term), the Nuremberg Trails marked the first time that an international tribune was convened to try “crimes against humanity.” (For more detailed information about the Nuremberg Trials, check out the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website: http:///

Participants at the Jewish Museum of Maryland and Baltimore Jewish Council’s recent Summer Teachers Institute, The Holocaust: Persecution to Nuremberg, recently spent a full day exploring the impact and significance of these trials.

According to University of Pennsylvania law professor, Harry Reicher, an expert on the topic of human rights law and our speaker for the morning, the Nuremberg Trials were significant for many reasons. He cited the efforts of chief prosecutor Robert Jackson who advocated on behalf ensuring that defendants would receive a fair trial as evidence of the high moral plane upon which the trials were based. Furthermore, the Nuremberg Trials also set a precedent by placing 22 defendants (including leading figures in the Nazi establishment who were still alive and in captivity) on trial as individuals as opposed to specific governments.

Through documentary film clips – as well as through the use of clips from the award-winning dramatization Judgement at Nuremberg (check out http:/// to learn more about this film) – Professor Reicher kept attendees riveted as he discussed important legal concepts that served as the trial’s basis.

Among these was the importance of collecting enormous amounts of documentary evidence, and prosecutors gathered extensive documentation for evidence. This proved to be one of their most enduring legacies as prosecutors foresaw the need to combat future efforts at Holocaust denial.

In the afternoon teachers had additional opportunities to learn strategies for teaching about the Nuremberg Trials in their classroom. At Towson University, Dr. Nicole Dombrowski gave a presentation where she shared information about an archival collection housed at TowsonUniversitythat includes extensive primary sources from the Trials gathered by Paul Gantt, a member of the US armed forces who was worked with Nuremberg prosecutors. (To access the Paul Gnatt Collection and to make use of the lesson plans developed by Dr. Dombrowski and her students, check out http:///

Teacher response to this day of our Institute was overwhelming as evidenced by the following comments on program surveys:

  • Thank you for the dedicating the last day to the Nuremberg Trials. It was great to examine one facet in depth at the end.
  • All of the information on the Nuremberg Trials was great. It was a lot of information but it definitely needs to be seen, heard, and remembered
  • Thank you, this was wonderful. This is my second year, and I think what you are doing is fabulous. I promised last year to incorporate what I learned into my classes, and I have. I will keep working…
  • Liked the theme of the day. Excellent speakers. Knowledgeable speakers.
  • A wonderful experience for me!
  • I am learning so much…so much information to explain in such a short time. Again, I wish we had more time. I have a much clearer understanding of how these trials evolved and their importance in the international courts even today.

The establishment of a permanent international tribune with an independent prosecutor is a legacy that has endured to the present day. Furthermore, the charge of “crimes against humanity” has been used as justification for trials in more contemporary instances of genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia.

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