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Violin, bows, case and accessories recovered from Lodz ghetto and played in DP camps by a Polish Jewish musician 2010.472.1_c front

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Violin, case, and parts recovered from the Lodz ghetto in Poland and played by Henry Baigelman after the war. The instruments were hidden in an attic by Henry's brother David in the summer of 1944 after they learned that the Germans were going to destroy the ghetto. They were recovered by his brother-in-law after the city was liberated by the Soviets in January 1945. Two violins were recovered: this one and 2010.472.2; one was played by Henry in the ghetto; the other originally belonged to Henry's cousin. Henry was a professional musician in Lodz when Germany occupied Poland on September 1, 1939. He and his family were imprisoned in the Lodz (Litzmannstadt) ghetto where he and David performed with the orchestra. On June 10, 1944, Himmler ordered the ghetto destroyed. David hid the family instruments. On August 4, 1944, the family was deported to Auschwitz where they were separated. Henry was transferred to Kaltwasser, Flossenberg, and Altenhammer concentration camps. In Altenhammer, the camp supervisor had a violin; Henry played for him and received extra rations. On April 20, 1945, the prisoners were sent on a forced march and were liberated on April 23 by the US Army. Henry traveled to Cham, Germany, where he organized a band, The Happy Boys, that performed in displaced persons camps. Henry and 2 nephews were the only family members who survived the Holocaust. Henry married and emigrated to the United States in 1949.

Violin, case, and parts recovered from the Lodz ghetto in Poland and played by Henry Baigelman after the war. The instruments were hidden in an attic by Henry's brother David in the summer of 1944 after they learned that the Germans were going to destroy the ghetto. They were recovered by his brother-in-law after the city was liberated by the Soviets in January 1945. Two violins were recovered: this one and 2010.472.2; one was played by Henry in the ghetto; the other originally belonged to Henry's cousin. Henry was a professional musician in Lodz when Germany occupied Poland on September 1, 1939. He and his family were imprisoned in the Lodz (Litzmannstadt) ghetto where he and David performed with the orchestra. On June 10, 1944, Himmler ordered the ghetto destroyed. David hid the family instruments. On August 4, 1944, the family was deported to Auschwitz where they were separated. Henry was transferred to Kaltwasser, Flossenberg, and Altenhammer concentration camps. In Altenhammer, the camp supervisor had a violin; Henry played for him and received extra rations. On April 20, 1945, the prisoners were sent on a forced march and were liberated on April 23 by the US Army. Henry traveled to Cham, Germany, where he organized a band, The Happy Boys, that performed in displaced persons camps. Henry and 2 nephews were the only family members who survived the Holocaust. Henry married and emigrated to the United States in 1949.

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  • Title: Violin, bows, case and accessories recovered from Lodz ghetto and played in DP camps by a Polish Jewish musician 2010.472.1_c front
  • Provenance: The violin, bows, case, and accessories were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010 by Riva Berelson and Simon Baigelman on behalf of the Estate of Henry Baigelman., The violin, bows, case, and accessories were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010 by Riva Berelson and Simon Baigelman on behalf of the Estate of Henry Baigelman.
  • Subject Keywords: Concentration camp inmates--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Łódź--Personal narratives. Jewish families--Poland--Łódź--Biography. Jewish musicians--Poland--Biography. Jewish refugees--Germany--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Refugees--Germany--Personal narratives., Concentration camp inmates--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Łódź--Personal narratives. Jewish families--Poland--Łódź--Biography. Jewish musicians--Poland--Biography. Jewish refugees--Germany--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Refugees--Germany--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Personal Equipment and Supplies, Personal Equipment and Supplies
  • 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: a. Full size, dark brown varnished wooden violin with vertical striations on the body. The top end is a carved spiral volute scroll that extends into a rectangular, slotted peg box with 4 holes with 4 black painted wooden tuning pegs inserted. Four metal strings wrapped with different colored thread are wound around the pegs. Below the peg box, the narrow neck attaches to the hourglass shaped body. The black painted fingerboard covers the neck and upper body. The strings extend along the fingerboard, over the light brown, unfinished wooden bridge, and through the 4 slotted metal holes of the fine tuner that extend beyond the tailpiece; the 2 silver metal tuner screws insert into the tailpiece top. The bridge is mounted upright between 2 F-shaped sound holes in the center body. The black painted tailpiece is wired to the black painted endpin. There is purfling, a narrow decorative inlay, around the body perimeter. A black painted oval wooden chin rest is attached to the right of the tailpiece by an adjustable metal clamp. On the interior left side is a dated repair note and signature written cursive in black ink. b. Black, leather covered plywood violin shaped case with a hinged convex lid. All hardware is gold colored metal. On the front left and far right are 2 drawbolts with hasp locks; in the center is a key plate and hasp lock and a black plastic handle. There are 3 metal feet. The lid is attached to the base with 3 flap hinges that are covered on the interior with padded gold ribbon. The interior is lined in green velvet with a padded perimeter. The lid interior has 2 strips of gold ribbon on each side for placing the 2 bows. There is a semi-circular left side compartment with a divider panel for the bow tips. The tips are held in place at the handle by 2 velvet covered metal spring right side brackets riveted to the lid; the rivets are visible on the exterior. The base has 2 flap covered accessory compartments; a manufacturer’s sticker is attached to the outside of the left compartment. c. Violin shaped, green cotton cloth cover made from 2 layers of cloth sewn together with dark red binding. There are 2 letters, AB, machine stitched in dark red thread on the front. d. Brown varnished wooden bow consisting of a curved stick and an animal hair ribbon loosely strung between the tip and the frog, which adjusts the tension on the hair. The hair is inserted into a square slot on the wooden wedge shaped tip on the underside of the rectangular head. On the stick end is a rectangular frog with a U-shaped cut out facing the tip; attached at the lower leg is a semi-circular metal ferrule that secures the hair to the frog. Extending back from the ferrule is a rectangular slot with mother of pearl top and circular side inserts. Above the frog, a dark brown leather strip is wound around the stick. The stick extends slightly past the frog and is capped with a faceted black wood and metal endscrew with a circular mother of pearl insert. e. Brown varnished wooden bow consisting of a curved stick and an animal hair ribbon loosely strung between the tip and frog. The white plastic wedge shaped tip on the underside of the rectangular head has hair inserted into a square slot. On the stick end is a rectangular frog with a U-Shaped cut out facing the tip; attached at the lower leg is a semi-circular metal ferrule that secures the hair to the frog. Extending back from the ferrule is a rectangular slot with mother of pearl front and circular side inserts. Above the frog, wire and black leather are wound around the stick. The stick extends slightly past the frog and is capped with a faceted black plastic and metal endscrew with a circular mother of pearl insert. f. Black painted, tapered wooden tuning peg with an oval, concave knob with horizontal depressions. The cylindrical shaft has 2 small holes near the end; paint is missing near the hole. g. Black painted, tapered wooden tuning peg with an oval, concave knob with horizontal depressions. The cylindrical shaft has 2 small holes near the end; paint is missing near the hole. h. Black painted, tapered wooden tuning peg with an oval, concave knob with horizontal depressions. The cylindrical shaft has 2 small holes near the end; paint is missing near the hole. i. Black painted, tapered wooden tuning peg with an oval knob that flattens at the base and has horizontal depressions. The cylindrical shaft has 2 small holes near the lower end. Paint is missing around the shaft. j1. Circular block of light brown translucent resin with an uneven top that is attached to a rectangular piece of black velvet. j2. Square, red paper covered brown cardboard telescoping box lid for base (j3). The bottom edges have semi-circular cutouts. The lid has gold colored English text and graphics. j3. Square, red paper covered brown cardboard telescoping box base for lid (j2). k1. Rectangular block of brown translucent resin with chipped edges. It is adhered on the bottom and long sides to a sheet of cork. k2. Rectangular, white paper covered brown cardboard sliding box lid for the base (k3). On the top is a rectangular pink paper sticker with English text; on the bottom is a square white paper sticker with Italian and English text and numbers. k3. Rectangular, white paper covered brown cardboard sliding box base for lid (k2). l. Black painted, 3 pronged wooden mute with a 2 V shaped slots in the spaces between the prongs. m. Circular, hollow, silver colored metal mute case and cylinder. The case has a set of 3 double pronged tabs extending from each side of the circular body; they face each other across the narrow gap of the open case. The 2 outer tabs are rectangular and flank a U shaped tab; the ends bend slightly outward. A cylinder with rounded ends is inserted into the hollow body. English text is engraved on the top of the outer cylinder. n. Grooved, silver colored metal tweezers with rounded tips on elongated bulbous handles that attach and flatten at the bottom to form a V. There is engraved English text on the interior. o. Smooth, silver colored metal tweezers with square beveled tips on elongated handles. The narrow tip flares at the center, tapers near the bottom, and flares out at the grip. p. Unfinished, light brown wooden bridge section detached from (r). It has diagonal sides that curl in at the waist and out at the hip before curving down to an angled foot. There is a semi circular cut out on the top edge. q. Rectangular, trifold wrapper made from a single piece of pebbled black leather. The top and lower halves are folded over and sewn vertically to form 4 square pockets stamped with gold metallic letters. The wrapper folds vertically inward and forms a narrow rectangle; it then folds horizontally to close. The spine has a cloth remnant from a closure strap. The front is embossed with illegible German text and numbers. r. Small, unfinished, light brown wooden bridge section detached from (p). It has a curved top with 4 shallow notches. There is a rectangular protrusion at the base. s. Small, square, paper envelope printed with English and German text, graphics, and numbers in black, light brown, yellow, and white on a brown background with a black border. The design features a stylized violin scroll above a partial violin body and the letter T superimposed over a violin. The price is handwritten in blue ink in the upper right and English text is printed on the reverse. The front upper left has a yellow stain. t. Rectangular, white cardboard tag with rounded corners and a circular hole at the top with a dark blue string tied through it. Printed on the front are 3 vertical wavy lines and blue English text. The reverse is blank., a. Full size, dark brown varnished wooden violin with vertical striations on the body. The top end is a carved spiral volute scroll that extends into a rectangular, slotted peg box with 4 holes with 4 black painted wooden tuning pegs inserted. Four metal strings wrapped with different colored thread are wound around the pegs. Below the peg box, the narrow neck attaches to the hourglass shaped body. The black painted fingerboard covers the neck and upper body. The strings extend along the fingerboard, over the light brown, unfinished wooden bridge, and through the 4 slotted metal holes of the fine tuner that extend beyond the tailpiece; the 2 silver metal tuner screws insert into the tailpiece top. The bridge is mounted upright between 2 F-shaped sound holes in the center body. The black painted tailpiece is wired to the black painted endpin. There is purfling, a narrow decorative inlay, around the body perimeter. A black painted oval wooden chin rest is attached to the right of the tailpiece by an adjustable metal clamp. On the interior left side is a dated repair note and signature written cursive in black ink. b. Black, leather covered plywood violin shaped case with a hinged convex lid. All hardware is gold colored metal. On the front left and far right are 2 drawbolts with hasp locks; in the center is a key plate and hasp lock and a black plastic handle. There are 3 metal feet. The lid is attached to the base with 3 flap hinges that are covered on the interior with padded gold ribbon. The interior is lined in green velvet with a padded perimeter. The lid interior has 2 strips of gold ribbon on each side for placing the 2 bows. There is a semi-circular left side compartment with a divider panel for the bow tips. The tips are held in place at the handle by 2 velvet covered metal spring right side brackets riveted to the lid; the rivets are visible on the exterior. The base has 2 flap covered accessory compartments; a manufacturer’s sticker is attached to the outside of the left compartment. c. Violin shaped, green cotton cloth cover made from 2 layers of cloth sewn together with dark red binding. There are 2 letters, AB, machine stitched in dark red thread on the front. d. Brown varnished wooden bow consisting of a curved stick and an animal hair ribbon loosely strung between the tip and the frog, which adjusts the tension on the hair. The hair is inserted into a square slot on the wooden wedge shaped tip on the underside of the rectangular head. On the stick end is a rectangular frog with a U-shaped cut out facing the tip; attached at the lower leg is a semi-circular metal ferrule that secures the hair to the frog. Extending back from the ferrule is a rectangular slot with mother of pearl top and circular side inserts. Above the frog, a dark brown leather strip is wound around the stick. The stick extends slightly past the frog and is capped with a faceted black wood and metal endscrew with a circular mother of pearl insert. e. Brown varnished wooden bow consisting of a curved stick and an animal hair ribbon loosely strung between the tip and frog. The white plastic wedge shaped tip on the underside of the rectangular head has hair inserted into a square slot. On the stick end is a rectangular frog with a U-Shaped cut out facing the tip; attached at the lower leg is a semi-circular metal ferrule that secures the hair to the frog. Extending back from the ferrule is a rectangular slot with mother of pearl front and circular side inserts. Above the frog, wire and black leather are wound around the stick. The stick extends slightly past the frog and is capped with a faceted black plastic and metal endscrew with a circular mother of pearl insert. f. Black painted, tapered wooden tuning peg with an oval, concave knob with horizontal depressions. The cylindrical shaft has 2 small holes near the end; paint is missing near the hole. g. Black painted, tapered wooden tuning peg with an oval, concave knob with horizontal depressions. The cylindrical shaft has 2 small holes near the end; paint is missing near the hole. h. Black painted, tapered wooden tuning peg with an oval, concave knob with horizontal depressions. The cylindrical shaft has 2 small holes near the end; paint is missing near the hole. i. Black painted, tapered wooden tuning peg with an oval knob that flattens at the base and has horizontal depressions. The cylindrical shaft has 2 small holes near the lower end. Paint is missing around the shaft. j1. Circular block of light brown translucent resin with an uneven top that is attached to a rectangular piece of black velvet. j2. Square, red paper covered brown cardboard telescoping box lid for base (j3). The bottom edges have semi-circular cutouts. The lid has gold colored English text and graphics. j3. Square, red paper covered brown cardboard telescoping box base for lid (j2). k1. Rectangular block of brown translucent resin with chipped edges. It is adhered on the bottom and long sides to a sheet of cork. k2. Rectangular, white paper covered brown cardboard sliding box lid for the base (k3). On the top is a rectangular pink paper sticker with English text; on the bottom is a square white paper sticker with Italian and English text and numbers. k3. Rectangular, white paper covered brown cardboard sliding box base for lid (k2). l. Black painted, 3 pronged wooden mute with a 2 V shaped slots in the spaces between the prongs. m. Circular, hollow, silver colored metal mute case and cylinder. The case has a set of 3 double pronged tabs extending from each side of the circular body; they face each other across the narrow gap of the open case. The 2 outer tabs are rectangular and flank a U shaped tab; the ends bend slightly outward. A cylinder with rounded ends is inserted into the hollow body. English text is engraved on the top of the outer cylinder. n. Grooved, silver colored metal tweezers with rounded tips on elongated bulbous handles that attach and flatten at the bottom to form a V. There is engraved English text on the interior. o. Smooth, silver colored metal tweezers with square beveled tips on elongated handles. The narrow tip flares at the center, tapers near the bottom, and flares out at the grip. p. Unfinished, light brown wooden bridge section detached from (r). It has diagonal sides that curl in at the waist and out at the hip before curving down to an angled foot. There is a semi circular cut out on the top edge. q. Rectangular, trifold wrapper made from a single piece of pebbled black leather. The top and lower halves are folded over and sewn vertically to form 4 square pockets stamped with gold metallic letters. The wrapper folds vertically inward and forms a narrow rectangle; it then folds horizontally to close. The spine has a cloth remnant from a closure strap. The front is embossed with illegible German text and numbers. r. Small, unfinished, light brown wooden bridge section detached from (p). It has a curved top with 4 shallow notches. There is a rectangular protrusion at the base. s. Small, square, paper envelope printed with English and German text, graphics, and numbers in black, light brown, yellow, and white on a brown background with a black border. The design features a stylized violin scroll above a partial violin body and the letter T superimposed over a violin. The price is handwritten in blue ink in the upper right and English text is printed on the reverse. The front upper left has a yellow stain. t. Rectangular, white cardboard tag with rounded corners and a circular hole at the top with a dark blue string tied through it. Printed on the front are 3 vertical wavy lines and blue English text. The reverse is blank.

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