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Gold hoop earrings worn by a hidden child in Poland

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Gold hoop earrings worn by Sophia Kerpholz while she lived in hiding as a child from 1942-1944 in Poland. In early 1942, 9-year-old Sophia and her parents, Natan and Sarah, were imprisoned in the Jewish ghetto in Trembowla, Poland (Terebovlia, Ukraine) by the occupying German authorities. Sophia’s mother had to turn the earrings over to the Gestapo, but they were returned because they were too small and not valuable enough to take. When Sophia emigrated to Israel she was told that she was a new immigrant because she had earrings. Her father had escaped to Lvov, but ended up in the ghetto there. Sophia was sent to join him, with the intent to find her a safe hiding place. But Natan, age 38, died of typhus in January 1943, and Sophia had to escape and get back to Trembowla on her own. In 1943, Sarah and Sophia escaped from the ghetto as it was being liquidated. They eventually reached Humniska, Poland, where former neighbors of her grandparents, Anna and Voitek Gutonski, hid them in a barn with an underground hiding place for over 8 months, until the Soviet army liberated the area in March 1944.

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Details

  • Title: Gold hoop earrings worn by a hidden child in Poland
  • Provenance: The earrings were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Sophia Kerpholz Kalski.
  • Subject Keywords: Hidden children (Holocaust)--Poland. Jewish children in the Holocaust--Poland. Jewish ghettos--Ukraine--Terebovlia. Jewish ghettos--Ukraine--Lviv. Jewish families--Poland. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Jewelry
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: a. Small, oval-shaped, gold-colored, metal hoop with a flat back. A half sphere attached to the front acts as a hinge at the midpoint of the back. The top half pivots at the hinge and there is a small hole which hooks into a hole behind the hoop. b. Small, oval-shaped, gold-colored, metal hoop with a flat back. A half sphere attached to the front acts as a hinge at the midpoint of the back. The top half pivots at the hinge and there is a small hole which hooks into a hole behind the hoop.

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