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Red monogrammed knit purse made by an inmate in a forced labor camp

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Purse made by 17 year old Fanni Wolhgeschaffen when she was a slave laborer in Oberalstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. She worked in a textile factory and made the bag from fabric remnants. After the German occupation of Poland in September 1939, Fanni and her family were imprisoned in the Jaworzno ghetto. In 1942, Fanni was deported to an all women's concentration camp and then to Oberalstadt. The Germans evacuated the camp in May 1945 and while on that death march, the prisoners were liberated by the Soviet Army on May 10. Fanny returned to Poland where she was reunited with her father; they soon relocated to Germany. She learned that her mother and younger sister had been murdered in Auschwitz in 1942. Fanni was able to get to Palestine in 1945 with the assistance of Betar, a Revisionist Zionist youth organization; her father arrived there later.

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Details

  • Title: Red monogrammed knit purse made by an inmate in a forced labor camp
  • Provenance: The purse was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2007 by Fanni Reznicki.
  • Subject Keywords: Concentration camp inmates--Czech Republic. Death marches--Czech Republic. Forced labor--Czech Republic. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Personal narratives. Women concentration camp inmates--Czech Republic. World War, 1939-1935--Conscript labor.
  • Type: Dress Accessories
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Rectangular red knit purse with a cloth lining. It has a flap closure at the bottom with 2 yarn ties. The center flap is monogrammed in blue cross-stitch.

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