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Laced leather billfold with a painted harbor scene owned by a German Jewish refugee in Shanghai

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Decorated leather billfold acquired by Peter Victor when he lived as a refugee in Shanghai, China, from 1938-1947. The name of his wife, Berta Manis Victor, is inscribed inside the wallet. They met in the United States after Peter's emigration from Shanghai in December 1947, and married in 1951. Berta left Germany for the US in 1938. Peter, age 18, left Berlin for Shanghai in 1938 to escape the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazi-led government. His parents, Carl and Elsa, arrived in Shanghai in 1939. Carl died in 1940 and Elsa in 1942. Shanghai was liberated by the United States Army on September 3, 1945. With the aid of the American Joint Distribution Committee, Peter emigrated to America in December 1947.

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  • Title: Laced leather billfold with a painted harbor scene owned by a German Jewish refugee in Shanghai
  • Location: United States--Emigration and immigration--Biography.
  • Provenance: The wallet was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Arleen Tievsky, as executor of the Estate of Peter Victor.
  • Subject Keywords: Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--China--Shanghai--Personal narratives. Jewish families--Germany--Berlin--Biography. Jewish refugees--China--Shanghai--Biography. Jews--China--Shanghai--History--20th century. World War, 1939-1945--Refugees--China--Shanghai--Personal narratives, Jewish.
  • Type: Dress Accessories
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Rectangular brown leather bifold wallet with darker brown laced edges. The front has a pressed, painted sampan with the sail up framed by a tooled, red and brown, double rectangle outline. On the left is an English word and on the upper right are 2 Chinese characters, both within a tooled rectangle. The reverse has a stamped, painted image of 2 men carrying a yellow pot within a red lined frame with black silhouettes. The interior has a gold cloth divider with an embossed leather top edge that forms 2 lengthwise pockets. The front leather panel has 2 open slot leather pockets with an embossed dot design. A name is hand printed on the right slot pocket.

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