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Shallow pewter bowl with etched Hebrew characters owned by a German Jewish prewar emigre to the US 2012.456.2 top

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

Pewter bowl with etched Hebrew letters owned by Moritz Berk, who decided to leave Nazi Germany for the US in 1938. When Hitler came into power in January 1933, Moritz, his wife Berta, and their daughter Fraenze were living in Schwanfeld, where Morris's family had lived for generations. Under the Nazi government, Jews were persecuted and increasingly banned from areas of German society. Faced with rising anti-Semitism, Moritz, Berta, Fraenze, and Berta’s mother Jette, decided to immigrate to the United States. Berta’s brother, Max Lonnerstaedter, sponsored their 1938 emigration to New York. Moritz’s brother and two of Berta’s brothers also immigrated to the United States before the Holocaust. Their family members who remained in Germany perished in the Holocaust.

Pewter bowl with etched Hebrew letters owned by Moritz Berk, who decided to leave Nazi Germany for the US in 1938. When Hitler came into power in January 1933, Moritz, his wife Berta, and their daughter Fraenze were living in Schwanfeld, where Morris's family had lived for generations. Under the Nazi government, Jews were persecuted and increasingly banned from areas of German society. Faced with rising anti-Semitism, Moritz, Berta, Fraenze, and Berta’s mother Jette, decided to immigrate to the United States. Berta’s brother, Max Lonnerstaedter, sponsored their 1938 emigration to New York. Moritz’s brother and two of Berta’s brothers also immigrated to the United States before the Holocaust. Their family members who remained in Germany perished in the Holocaust.

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  • Title: Shallow pewter bowl with etched Hebrew characters owned by a German Jewish prewar emigre to the US 2012.456.2 top
  • Location: Emigration and immigration--Germany--Biography. Emigration and immigration--United States--Biography., Emigration and immigration--Germany--Biography. Emigration and immigration--United States--Biography.
  • Provenance: The bowl was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2012 by Susan Friedland-Cristina, the granddaughter of Bertha and Morris Berk., The bowl was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2012 by Susan Friedland-Cristina, the granddaughter of Bertha and Morris Berk.
  • Subject Keywords: Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Germany--Schwanfeld--Personal narratives. Jewish refugees--United States--Biography. Jews--Persecution--Germany--Biography., Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Germany--Schwanfeld--Personal narratives. Jewish refugees--United States--Biography. Jews--Persecution--Germany--Biography.
  • Type: Household Utensils, Household Utensils
  • Rights: Permanent Collection, Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Heavy, shallow, circular, gray colored pewter bowl with a smooth exterior surface and an extended rim with an incised line around the interior and top of the base. The surface is raised slightly in the well. There are 2 etched Hebrew letters near the rim on the underside. Across the center are 3 worn, identical impressed circular touch marks with inward curving sides. The marks feature a human figure with large wings, in knee length garments, holding an upright sword in the right hand and a balance scale in the left. To the left of the figure’s feet is a small leaping stag. There is German text along the top and bottom. The plate is scratched and has spots of discoloration. Similar touch marks were used on high quality pewter and tin in Germany and areas of Switzerland since the 18th century. This style of bowl, with etched initials and marks also dates to that era., Heavy, shallow, circular, gray colored pewter bowl with a smooth exterior surface and an extended rim with an incised line around the interior and top of the base. The surface is raised slightly in the well. There are 2 etched Hebrew letters near the rim on the underside. Across the center are 3 worn, identical impressed circular touch marks with inward curving sides. The marks feature a human figure with large wings, in knee length garments, holding an upright sword in the right hand and a balance scale in the left. To the left of the figure’s feet is a small leaping stag. There is German text along the top and bottom. The plate is scratched and has spots of discoloration. Similar touch marks were used on high quality pewter and tin in Germany and areas of Switzerland since the 18th century. This style of bowl, with etched initials and marks also dates to that era.

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