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Silver dinner fork smuggled into France by a German Jewish refugee

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Silver fork smuggled by Ludwig Wertheim out of Nazi Germany and into France in the 1930s. When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, 24 year old Ludwig was in France on business for the family wine import business. They were observant Jews and it was decided that Ludwig should remain in France. He made a few trips home to Wurzburg during which he smuggled many family valuables into France. He last saw his parents in April, 1936. His German passport was revoked, but he was issued refugee papers by the French government. After the German occupation of France in 1939, Ludwig joined the French Foreign Legion and served until his demobilization on November 10, 1945. The fork and spoon (2005.4.3) are the only family possessions that he was able to recover.

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Details

  • Title: Silver dinner fork smuggled into France by a German Jewish refugee
  • Provenance: The fork was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Ludwig Wertheim.
  • Subject Keywords: Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Germany--Wurzburg--Personal narratives. Jewish refugees--France--Biography. Jewish soldiers--France--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Jewish. World War, 1939-1945--Refugees--Germany.
  • Type: Household Utensils
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Silver, four-tined fork with a flat, oval handle end that narrows for the neck, then expands slightly into a smaller oval tab that is attached to the base of the fork head. The top of the handle has an embossed, fiddle thread border. The bottom is smooth and has a stamped maker's mark.

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