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Monogrammed pillowcase with whitework embroidery used by a German Jewish Kindertransport refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2000.258.5

Monogrammed pillowcase wth an eyelet design used by 14 year old Bertl Rosenfelt when she and two younger sisters, Edith, 13, and Ruth, 9, left Nazi Germany in March 1939 on a Kindertransport to Great Britain. It was made by her maternal aunt Friederika Lemberger from a converted pillow sham with her initials FL. After Hitler assumed power in Germany in 1933, Jews were subjected to increasingly punitive restrictions. Bertl's extended family tried to get visas for the US, but were unsuccessful bcause of the strict US quotas. Bertl, Edith, and Ruth were sent to Aachen to live with Friederika in 1937 to attend the Jewish school. During the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 9-10, 1938, they passed the burning synagogue and were told their school was closed. A maternal aunt, Hannah (Johanna) had lived in London since 1933. She found people willing to take in the sisters and Friederika arranged for their departure on the Kindertransport. They left in March 1939 and 2 year old Esther was sent in June. Bertl's parents Adolf and Katty were murdered in August 1942 in Auschwitz concentration camp. In 1947, Bertl fulfilled her mother's wishes by arranging for all the sisters to go to America, where her brother was already living.

creation:  approximately 1933
use:  1939 June-1947
creation: Aachen (Germany)
Furnishings and Furniture
Household linens
Object Type
Pillowcases (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Bertl Rosenfeld Esenstad
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 21:51:26
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