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Woman's engraved gold wrist watch received by one inmate from another in Auschwitz

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Gold and silver engraved wrist watch given to 22 year old Esther (Edit) Schaechter in Auschwitz concentration camp around January 1945. The person who gave Esther the watch told her that she knew that Esther was going to survive and she wanted it preserved. Esther kept the watch through the death march to and imprisonment in Bergen-Belsen. Esther had been arrested by the Germans with false papers in Budapest in 1944 where she was active with the Zionist youth movement resistance activities. She was sent to Auschwitz in June 1944, given the number A-10 674, and selected for work duty as a seamstress. In January 1945, Soviet forces arrived in the area and the camp inmates were sent on a death march to Bergen-Belsen. They were liberated by the British Army on April 26, 1945. Esther searched for her family after the war and found her sister, Zipporah, in Budapest. She learned that the rest of her family had been killed, most of them in March 1944, when they were sent to the gas chambers in Auschwitz. In 1946, Esther immigrated to Palestine where her remaining brother, Yossi, had fled in 1938.

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  • Title: Woman's engraved gold wrist watch received by one inmate from another in Auschwitz
  • Provenance: The wrist watch was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2009 by Esther Vardi.
  • Subject Keywords: Jewish refugees--Palestine. Jewish youth -Budapest (Hungary) Women concentration camp inmates--Germany. Women concentration camp inmates--Poland. World War, 1939-1945--Jewish resistance--Budapest (Hungary) Zionism--Budapest (Hungary)--History--20th century. Women concentration camp inmates. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Hungary--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Personal Equipment and Supplies
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Gold and silver metal wrist watch and band. The face is oblong with a round dial missing the glass; the background is offwhite with black Arabic numbers and a dark brown metal hand. Around the body is decorative engraving and a knob to wind the watch. The band is made of horizontal gold pieces attached to silver mesh. A hinge attaches the bands to the flat gold metal plate that forms the underside of the watch.

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