Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Singer style Soviet treadle sewing machine and table of the type used in Kovno ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 1997.129.1

Treadle sewing machine produced in the Singer factory in Podolsk, Soviet Union (Podol’sk, Russia), which was nationalized following the Bolshevik October Revolution in 1917. The machine is mounted to a wooden table, which served as both work surface and storage container for the machine and sewing accessories. This mass produced machine was very durable and affordable. This specific machine was in use in Lithuania until the late 1990s. This type of machine would have been used by Jewish forced laborers in the Kovno (Kaunas) Ghetto in German occupied Lithuania. There were about forty workshops, including a tailoring shop to sew and repair German military uniforms. German forces occupied Kovno on June 24, 1941. Beginning in July, German mobile killing units and Lithuanian auxiliaries massacred the Jewish residents, murdering half, around 20,000 people, within six months. The remaining were confined to the Ghetto to supply forced labor for the German military. In the autumn of 1943, the SS converted the ghetto into Kauen concentration camp. In July 1944, the remaining inmates were deported and the ghetto was burned to the ground.

manufacture:  approximately 1917-approximately 1950
use: Lithuania
manufacture: Podolʹsk (Moscow, Russia)
Tools and Equipment
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:57:56
This page: