Bloomers' (under garment) made of the same striped material used for making woman's skirts, shirts and underwear in Auschwitz. It has an elasticised waist and legs.

These were issued to Irene Weiss in Auschwitz. In her USC Shoah Foundation Institute testimony, Irene mentions that she and fellow female secretaries (Schreiberinnen) in the "Politishe Abteilung" (Political Department) of Auschwitz received headscarves made from a variety of materials, to cover their shaved heads, and that these were made for them by women working in the sewing workshop in Auschwitz I. She mentions that these women also made nightgowns and sleepwear. It is conceivable, therefore, that these bloomers were made in the sewing workshop.

Irene Weiss (nee Berger, widowed Maityn) was born in Slovakia in 1914, the eldest of five children to Adolf and Cecilia Berger. There were only two Jewish families and growing up she experienced little antisemitism. In February 1942 she married her childhood sweetheart Eugen (Jeno) Maityn. She was deported to Auschwitz in March 1942, and registered as number 2654. Office skills and the German language, learned as a young girl, helped her survive. Together with her sister Janka, she worked as a secretary, recording the gruesome statistics of the murder of the transports to Auschwitz. This earned such secretaries the title ‘secretaries of death’.


  • Title: Striped Bloomers
  • Type: underwear
  • Rights: Sydney Jewish Museum
  • Medium: cloth

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