Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Small wooden tile with the Terezin church steeple made by a former Jewish Czech concentration camp inmate

Object | Accession Number: 1989.342.12

Small wooden ornament with a view of the Terezin church steeple 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 Germany invaded in March 1939 and annexed into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Due to the Nazi regime's anti-Jewish policies, Jiri was fired from his job. That September, Germany invaded neighboring Poland. In September 1941, Heydrich, SS chief of Reich security, became Reich Protector and soon there were 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. In late October 1944, Jiri was waiting for his assigned transport train, when an SS guard asked for men to repair a roof. Jiri volunteered and the train left before the roof was finished. These were the last trains sent to Auschwitz. 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: 2022-07-28 18:21:13
This page: