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Wedding gown made from a white silk parachute worn by multiple Jewish brides in a DP camp

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

White silk wedding dress worn by 22 year old Lili Lax for her marriage to 21 year old Ludwig (Aron) Frydman on January 27, 1946, in a synagogue near Celle displaced persons camp in Germany. Lili told Ludwig that she had always dreamed of getting married in a white dress, so he obtained a white silk parachute from a former German airman for 2 pounds of coffee and cigarettes. Lili used her cigarette rations to hire a seamstress, Miriam, to sew the gown. Miriam used the leftover material to make a shirt for Ludwig. Six months later, Lilly's sister wore the gown when she married, and then their cousin Rosie wore it. Lilly lent the dress to many more brides, although she quit counting at 17. Ludwig, his parents Michal and Gizella, and 11 siblings lived in Sevlus, Czechoslovakia, which was annexed by Hungary in 1939. In March 1944, Germany invaded Hungary. The Hungarians now complied with the German plan to deport all Jews to concentration camps. Ludwig was confined to Munkacs ghetto and then deported to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Ludwig’s parents and 7 siblings perished. Lili, her father Yitzhak, and 4 younger siblings Faige, Eva, Mechel, and Eli, were from Zarici, Czechoslovakia. In June 1944, Lili and her family were sent to Auschwitz. Lili’s father and brothers were immediately gassed. Lili and her sisters survived imprisonment in Plaszow, Neustadt in Oberschlesien, Gross-Rosen, and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. Bergen-Belsen was liberated by British forces on April 15, 1945. Lili and Ludwig met in Celle dp camp in June 1945. With their 10 month old daughter and Lili's sister Eva, they left Celle in 1948 to join her sisters in New York.

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  • Title: Wedding gown made from a white silk parachute worn by multiple Jewish brides in a DP camp
  • Provenance: The wedding dress was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1999 by Lilly Friedman.
  • Subject Keywords: Concentration camp inmates--Germany--Biography. Concentration camp inmates--Poland--Biography. Ex-concentration camp inmates--Germany--Celle--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Hungary--Personal narratives. Holocaust survivors--New York--Biography. Jewish families--Czechoslovakia--Biography. Jewish refugees--Germany--Celle--Biography. Women concentration camp inmates--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Refugees--Germany--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Clothing and Dress
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: White silk gown made from a discolored silk parachute with a gathered bodice and a full, floor-length skirt, made from 6 panels of silk. It has a standing, folded collar with pointed ends in the back. The 5 inch back opening has plackets with 4 cloth covered buttons and 4 thread loops. The long, full sleeves are gathered at the narrow cuffs, which have a hidden snap closure. The triangular waistband extends into a long, wide sash with angled ends to tie in a bow at the back. The seams are machine sewn and the hem is hand sewn and has been altered. The cloth is stained.

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