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Aluminum suitcase used by Jewish Polish postwar refugees

Object | Accession Number: 1997.102.1

Silver aluminum suitcase used by Regina and Shmuel Spiegel when they emigrated in October 1947 from Germany to the United States. In April 1941, Regina Gutman, 15, escaped the Radom ghetto in German occupied Poland to join her sister Rozia in Pionki. She worked in a munitions factory, where she met Shmuel, 20. He had left Kozienice ghetto in September 1942 to work in Pionki labor camp. In fall 1944, the inmates were transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. They promised to meet in Kozienice if they survived the war. Men and women were separated upon arrival. Regina was transferred to Bomlitz slave labor camp, an underground munitions factory, then briefly to Bergen Belsen, and then Elsnig slave labor camp. In April 1945, the camp was evacuated by trains, which were bombed. Regina was wounded, but escaped and hid in the forest until liberated on April 20 by Soviet troops. Shmuel was sent to Gleiwitz I slave labor camp. In January 1945, as Allied troops neared, the inmates were sent on a death march to Blechhammer where Shmuel escaped. Both returned to their home towns in Poland, searching for family, and found that nearly all their relatives had perished in Treblinka killing center. Shmuel learned that Regina was in Radom and sent a horse and buggy for her. As they learned of returning Jews being killed in pogroms, they decided to leave Poland. They reached Foehrenwald displaced persons camp in Germany where they married on May 21, 1946. With the assistance of Regina's maternal uncle, Samuel Kreps, in the US, they sailed for America in October 1947.

acquired:  1946
acquired: Fohrenwald (Displaced persons camp); Waldram (Germany)
Object Type
Suitcases (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Regina and Samuel Spiegel
Record last modified: 2021-05-21 12:59:44
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