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Set of goatskin cross country ski straps brought to the US by a German Jewish refugee

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

Pair of goatskin ski straps brought by Karl Weiler to the United States when he left Nazi Germany in December 1937. The straps are placed on the bottom of skis to increase friction while cross-country skiing uphill. 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: Set of goatskin cross country ski straps brought to the US by a German Jewish refugee
  • Location: Germany--Emigration and immigration--Biography. United States--Emigration and immigration--Biography.
  • Provenance: The ski straps were 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: a. Long, narrow ski strap made from offwhite and brown goatskin and fur attached to heavy, white, gray striped woven cloth backing; the fur sections are very worn. A narrow, gray striped white cloth strip is riveted to each end; 1 strip is looped and pierced by the rivet. Near this strip, on the backing, is a brown leather patch with 2 cloth straps with a buckle with a hook and a center bar buckle. Near the opposite strip, on the backing, is a leather patch with 2 knotted and riveted cloth straps with a metal center bar buckle and a narrow leather strip. b. Long, narrow ski strap made from offwhite and brown goatskin and fur attached to heavy, white, gray striped woven cloth backing; the fur sections are worn. A narrow white, gray striped cloth strip is riveted to each end. Near the shorter strip, on the backing, are printed numbers and a brown leather patch with 2 cloth straps with a buckle with a hook and a center bar buckle. The other narrow strip is long and has a black rectangle sewn in zigzag stitch. Near this strip, on the backing, is a leather patch with 2 knotted and riveted cloth straps with a center bar buckle.

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