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M-576 Danett, Nadia and Chester Papers

ABSTRACT: Papers of Nadia and Chester Danett, circa 1939-1950.

SCOPE: This collection is comprised of official documentation for Nadia and Chester Danett’s experiences as displaced persons during and after World War II. The papers contain identification cards, certificates, and reports in multiple languages, all under the Pierwiencew name. Some documents for Walenynta Pierwiencew, Chester’s mother, are also incorporated.

EXTENT: One folder.

HISTORY: Nadia Danett (1924-2022), born Nadiezda Kawun, was raised by Russian parents in Eastern Poland. She married Russian-born Wiaczeslaw “Chester” Pierwiencew (1916-2006) in 1941. Nadia and Chester both survived the devastation of World War II in Eastern Europe and lived for a time in a displaced persons camp in Germany. By April 1948, they had made their way to the United States and finally settled in St. Louis, where they would remain for the rest of their lives. They ultimately changed their last name from Pierwiencew to Danett.

Chester worked as a forester and mechanic, including for the U.S. Army, before pursuing his passion as a photographer. Nadia studied several languages in addition to her native Ukrainian and Russian, including German, French, Czech, and Spanish. She went on to teach languages at the Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School (MICDS) for almost forty years.

ACCESS: This collection can be viewed on-site in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room.  Some of the material may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition and other access restrictions. Information on conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building on the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ north campus.

Preferred Citation note: The preferred citation for this collection is “From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis."