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Small colored wooden pendant with the Terezin crest made by a former Jewish Czech concentration camp inmate

Object | Accession Number: 1989.342.11

Colorful wooden shield shaped ornament etched with the Terezin coat of arms made by Jiri Lauscher, who was an inmate of Theresienstadt, the German name for Terezin, ghetto-labor camp from December 1942 - May 1945. Jiri's woodworking skill got him assigned to the camp technical department. Jiri was from Prague which was invaded in March 1939 by Germany and made part of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Under the Nazi regime, Jiri was fired from his job because he was Jewish. That September, Germany invaded neighboring Poland. In September 1941, Heydrich, the SS chief of Reich security, became Reich Protector and soon there were almost daily deportations of Jews to concentration camps. In July, Jiri's parents, Anna and Julius, were deported, and in September, his brother Frantisek. In December 1942, Jiri, Irma, and daughter Michaela, 5, were sent to Theresienstadt. Jiri became part of a closeknit group of artists at the camp. Irma taught Jewish traditions in the secret classes held for children. Around late October 1944, Jiri was waiting for the transport train to Auschwitz, when an SS guard asked for men to repair a roof. Jiri volunteered and the train left before the roof was finished. The camp was taken over by the Red Cross on May 2, 1945. The war ended when Germany surrendered May 7. Jiri and his family returned to Prague in June. Most of their relatives were killed in German concentration camps.

creation: Czechoslovakia
Decorative Arts
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jiri Lauscher in memory of his wife Irma Lauscher
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:56:38
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