Pea whistle brought to the US by a German Jewish refugee

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Pea whistle brought by Karl Weiler from Nazi Germany to the United States in December 1937. Karl lost his position as an assistant judge in March 1933 when the new Nazi government purged the civil service of Jews and passed a law to that effect April 7 with the first Aryan only qualification clause. Karl rejoined the family agricultural firm in Brakel. Anti-Jewish pressures increased and, in May 1936, the firm’s board of directors was forced to sell the business at a loss to a Nazi approved buyer. In December 1937, Karl left for the US. After the war ended in May 1945, he learned that his parents, Fritz and Ella, had been deported to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in 1942, then in 1944 to Auschwitz killing center where they were murdered. His sister, Mathilde Fodor, had been deported from Budapest, Hungary, in November 1944 to Lichtenworth concentration camp where she died of starvation. Her husband, Joszi, and son, Karoly, survived.

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  • Title: Pea whistle brought to the US by a German Jewish refugee
  • Location: Germany--Emigration and immigration--Biography. United States--Emigration and immigration--Biography.
  • Provenance: The whistle was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Judy Gartner and Susan Oberfeld, the daughters of Carl and Mina Kaufmann Weiler.
  • Subject Keywords: Jewish refugees--United States--Biography. Jews--Germany--History--20th century. Jews--Persecutions--Germany--Biography.
  • Type: Personal Equipment and Supplies
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Tubular silver colored metal whistle with a bulbous mouthpiece. Near the body center is an oval slot with an interior flat metal plate near the lower edge; inside the slot is a small, cork ball, known as the pea. There is engraved text near the rounded cap end to which a metal ring is soldered.