Long sleeved black dress saved by a neighbor and recovered postwar

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

Dress that belonged to Henryka Selinger who was deported in 1942 from the Jewish ghetto in Krakow, Poland, to Treblinka concentration camp where she was murdered. The dress was kept by a neighbor throughout the war and recovered by her daughter, Kay Nabel, after the war. Soon after Poland was occupied by Germany in September 1939, Henryka and her family were forced into the Jewish ghetto in Krakow. Kay left her family in Krakow and fled with her future husband, Edward Nabel, to Lvov (Lviv, Ukraine] where his parents had already relocated. They married there in June 1940. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, they returned to Krakow to escape the anti-Jewish pogroms launched by the Germans and the local Ukrainian population. When the Krakow ghetto was being liquidated by the Germans, Henryka, her husband, Wilhelm, her eldest daughter, Mayla, and her husband, and Edward's parents were deported and killed in Treblinka. Kay and Edward were sent to Bauhof labor camp. They later escaped and, around November 1942, assumed false identities as Polish Catholics and were sent as forced labor to Germany. Under their false identities, they were not married, so most of this time they were assigned to separate locations. When they learned that Allied forces were approaching, they escaped and hid in the forests near Kongishofen where they were liberated by American troops on April 8, 1945. In October 1949, Kay and Edward emigrated to the US.

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  • Title: Long sleeved black dress saved by a neighbor and recovered postwar
  • Provenance: The dress was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2008 by Kay Nabel, the daughter of Henryka Selinger.
  • Subject Keywords: Forced labor--Germany--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Personal narratives. Jewish families--Poland--Krakow--Biography. Righteous Gentiles in the Holocaust. World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor--Germany--Personal narratives, Jewish. World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--Poland--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Clothing and Dress
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Black cloth dress with long sleeves and a flared skirt that falls knee length or below. It has a mock v-neck with 6 decorative buttons and an elongated triangular collar with lace overlay. The sleeves have decorative darting and a notched hem.