Small suitcase used by a former hidden child to emigrate to the US

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Childsize suitcase used by 12 year old Michel Jeruchim when he and his siblings emigrated to the United States in October 1949. Among the items he carried in it was, Les Aventures de Jambo, an illustrated book created for him by his brother Simon. Nazi Germany occupied France in June 1940. Michel, then age 3, his parents, Samuel and Sonia, and his siblings, 14 year old Alice, and 10 year old Simon, remained in the Paris suburbs. In July 1942, Sonia heard of the Vel d'Hiv roundup, where thousands of Jews were to be arrested. Samuel and Sonia arranged with the Bonneaus, members of the underground, to hide the children separately in Normandy. Michel lived with the LeClare family. They changed his name to theirs, and treated him as their own. He attended church and public school. The siblings eventually were reunited after the war ended in May 1945. They lived for a while with a maternal uncle, but due to lack of money and space, were sent to various children's homes. They eventually learned that their parents had been deported in fall 1942 to Auschwitz and murdered.

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  • Title: Small suitcase used by a former hidden child to emigrate to the US
  • Provenance: The suitcase was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2001 by Michel Jeruchim.
  • Subject Keywords: Hidden children (Holocaust)--France--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--France--Personal narratives, Jewish. Jewish children in the Holocaust--France--Biography. Jewish families--France--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--France--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Containers
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Small, rectangular, wooden suitcase covered with offwhite treated paper. There is light brown stitching around the left and right side edges, rounded metal corner bumpers, and 4 edge clamps on the top corners of the base. Two back hinges attach the lid and base. The front has 2 hasp locks on the lid and 2 keyhole lock plates and metal handle brackets on the base. The handle is missing and the silver colored hardware is corroded. The interior is lined with light brown paper with orange and light red plaid. In the upper right of the lid is a white octagonal sticker with a dark blue double border and a handwritten name. Interior wooden supports protrude above the base edge. There is a sticker on the exterior lid and sticker remnants on each side. The corner bumpers are dented and scratched. The exterior paper is worn off in places, stained, and scuffed.