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1st Anniversary commemorative pin for the victims of Theresienstadt acquired by a Czech Jewish survivor

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

First anniversary commemorative pin for the May 12, 1945, liberation of Theresienstadt concentration camp acquired by Frank Meissner, whose family had been imprisoned in the ghetto/labor camp in Czechoslovakia. On September 16, 1945, there was a public ceremonial burial for 601 victims exhumed from six mass grave sites uncovered at the Small Fortress. From 1940-1945, the Small Fortress served as the prison at the Terezin camp. At the age of 16, Frank left Trest, Czechoslovakia, in 1939 to avoid the increasingly harsh Nazi persecutions of Jews. He went to Denmark with Youth Aliyah to attend agricultural school. In fall 1943, when the Germans decided to deport all Jews from Denmark, Frank was smuggled on a fishing boat to Sweden. During his exile, he received weekly letters from his family, even after their deportation to Theresienstadt ghetto. The letters stopped in 1943. In the fall of 1944, Frank learned that his family had been sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. He joined the Czech army-in-exile in Great Britain. After the war ended in May 1945, Frank returned to Czechoslovakia searching for his family, but he found no survivors.

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Details

  • Title: 1st Anniversary commemorative pin for the victims of Theresienstadt acquired by a Czech Jewish survivor
  • Provenance: The commemorative pin was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Margit Meissner, the wife of Frank Meissner.
  • Subject Keywords: Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Czechoslovakia--Personal narratives. Holocaust survivors--United States--Biography. Jewish refugees--Denmark--Biography. Jewish refugees--Great Britain--Biography. Jews--Czechoslovakia--History--20th century. World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--Denmark--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Jewelry
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Dark gray, shield-shaped metal pin with raised Czech text and dates above an engraved image of a stone fortress under a radiant sun. There is a c-shaped hinged clasp with straight pin soldered to the back.

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