Wedding gown with silver embroidery worn by a Lithuanian Jewish woman in Barletta DP camp

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

Wedding dress with silver thread embroidery worn by Raya Kirschner, 19, for her May 27, 1948, wedding to Micky Feig, 22, in Barletta displaced persons camp in Italy. In August 1941, after Germany invaded Lithuania, Raya was interned with her father Meyer, a rabbi, her mother, who ran an orphanage, and her brother Beno in the Kovno ghetto. In October 1942, her father was selected for deportation to Riga, Latvia,and Raya's mother insisted the family go also. They were placed in Spilve camp and Raya, Meyer, and Beno were assigned to hard physical labor. In 1943, Beno was caught smuggling and sent to Kaiserwald; the family never saw him again. In July 1944, Raya and her parents were sent to Stutthof. A month later, her father was sent to Dachau where he perished. Raya and Sonia were sent to Elbing, and then were liberated on a death march in January 1945. After the war ended in May 1945, they went to Bad Gastein dp camp in Germany where Raya met Miklos (Micky). He had been interned in Auschwitz and Dachau-Allach concentration camps, and was the only surviving member of his family. All three left for America in September 1949.

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  • Title: Wedding gown with silver embroidery worn by a Lithuanian Jewish woman in Barletta DP camp
  • Provenance: The wedding dress was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2008 by Raya Feig.
  • Subject Keywords: Child concentration camp inmates--Germany--Biography. Concentration camp inmates--Poland--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Lithuania--Personal narratives. Jewish children in the Holocaust--Biography. Jewish refugees--Italy--Barletta--Biography. Women concentration camp inmates--Germany--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Refugees--Italy--Barletta--Personal narratives, Jewish.
  • Type: Clothing and Dress
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Offwhite crepe cloth gown with a short sleeved, draped blouse, fitted waist, and a flowing, pleated floor-length skirt. It has a pointed collar and no front fasteners. There is a curved slash pocket on each side and 2 thread loops at the waist for a now missing sash. A floral and scrollwork, metallic silver thread design, with clear and silver glass bead accents, is hand sewn along both sides, curving outward from the shoulder and then inward near the hips to trim the pocket edges. There is a white zipper on the right side, from underarm to hip. Seams and hems are machine sewn.