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Child’s blue, white and red striped button vest worn by a little girl while living in hiding

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

Striped knit wool vest worn by four year old Truusje Schoenfeld when she was a hidden child in German occupied Netherlands from 1943 to 1945. In May 1940, Amsterdam was occupied by Nazi Germany. In 1943, four year old Truusje and her parents, Walther and Margaretha, were ordered to report for deportation to a concentration camp. A neighbor, Mimi Grimberg da Silva Rosa, a German Protestant, who had hidden Truusje before, found them in the yard where they were being held and told the guard she had left something there. He let her in with her bike and as she went by the family, she picked Truusje up and put her in the basket, then rode out. She placed Truusje in hiding with a loving family outside Amsterdam, the De Bruins, who kept Truusje until the end of the war. Her parents were sent to Auschwitz extermination camp and killed. After the May 1945 liberation of the Netherlands, Mimi came and took Truusje away from the De Bruins. That summer, Truusje's maternal grandfather and uncle, Levi and Werner Katz, returned from Theresienstadt concentration camp. In November 1946, Truusje and her grandfather emigrated to the United States.Amsterdam was occupied by Nazi Germany in May 1940. By 1942, deportations of Jews to concentration camps were frequent and Truusje and her parents, Walther and Margaretha, were ordered to report for deportation in 1943. A neighbor, Mimi Grimberg da Silva Rosa, a German Protestant, rescued Truusje from the yard where they were being held and found her a hiding place with a couple outside of Amsterdam. Walther and Grete were sent to Westerbork internment camp, and then to Auschwitz, where they both were killed. After the Netherlands was liberated by the Canadian Army in May 1945, Truusje lived with Mimi until her maternal grandfather and uncle, Levi and Werner Katz, returned to Amsterdam from Theresienstadt concentration camp.

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  • Title: Child’s blue, white and red striped button vest worn by a little girl while living in hiding
  • Provenance: The vest was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Trudy Katzer.
  • Subject Keywords: Hidden children (Holocaust)--Netherlands--Amsterdam--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Netherlands--Amsterdam--Personal narratives. Holocaust survivors--Biography. Jewish children in the Holocaust--Netherlands--Amsterdam--Biography. Righteous Gentiles in the Holocaust--Netherlands--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--Netherlands--Amsterdam--Biography.
  • Type: Clothing and Dress
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Child’s striped machine-knit wool vest with a crew neck and a front opening with French plackets and 4 metal buttons with an embossed portrait and 1 black plastic button. The body is a continuous knit with no seams and has a repeating series of 4 horizontal stripes with geometric patterns: red with black design; yellow with blue; white with blue; dark blue with red. The waistband is dark blue ribbed knit. The neckline has red and blue crocheted trim done with a double blanket stitch and the armholes have red crocheted trim done in a blanket stitch. A cloth nametag is sewn inside the neck.

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