Woodcut portrait of Leo Baeck owned by a Jewish Polish girl
- Artwork Title
- Leo Baeck
- Object Type
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Julie Keefer
Woodcut portrait of Leo Baeck, owned by Julie Keefer, a Jewish Polish girl who was in hiding during the Holocaust with her grandfather. Baeck was a Rabbi and intellectual theologian who emerged as an important symbolic and political leader of German Jewry before and during World War II. Baeck helped other Jews emigrate from Germany and fought for Jewish rights. In 1943 he was deported to Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto labor camp, where he gave lectures on philosophy and religion and became a leader among the camp’s Jews. In June 1941, when Julie was two months old, her hometown, Lvov, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine) was occupied by German troops. In July several thousand Jews were massacred in pogroms. In November, Julie and her family were forced into Lvov ghetto and her grandfather, Aizik was taken to Jaktorow labor camp. In late 1943, Aizik rescued Julie and her family from the ghetto and they hid in a forest bunker. He decided Julie and her 5 month old sister Tola had to hide elsewhere as their crying made it dangerous for the others. In December he arranged for himself Tola and Julie to live with Lucia Nowicka who worked for a Catholic family. Aizik impersonated her husband and the two girls were introduced as nieces. When Lucia was briefly arrested, Aizik hid Tola in a Catholic children's home. During bombing in late spring 1944, the home was evacuated and he and Julie never saw Tola again. The bunker was discovered by the Germans and everyone was murdered. Lvov was liberated in June 1944 and the war ended in May 1945. Aizik, Julie, and Lucia lived in displaced persons camps. Aizik was able to get a US entry visa for Julie, and in 1948 Julie was sent to America where she lived in orphanages. Aizik and Lucia married and immigrated to the US in 1950. In 1955 Julie was adopted by Fred and Thea Klestadt, Jewish immigrants who had arrived from Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1937
Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:09:18
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn169860
Also in Fritz and Thea Lowenstein Klestadt family collection
The collection consists of two drawings, correspondence, documents, and photographs relating to the experiences of Thea Löwenstein Klestadt and Fritz Fred Klestadt before the Holocaust in Dusseldorf, Germany, and the United States where the couple emigrated in October 1937.
Two pencil drawings side by side on white paper with colored pencil details created by Thea Kelstadt depicting the life of an adult couple in Cleveland Ohio. The left drawing shows the couple separating, while the right shows their reunion. In 1935 Thea married Fred Klestadt. In September, the Nazis announced the Nuremberg Laws which excluded Jews from citizenship and prohibited them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of German blood. The laws defined a Jew as a person who had 3 or more grandparents that were Jews, regardless of their religious practice. In 1937, fleeing rising German anti-Semitism the couple obtained US visas and immigrated to America in 1937, settling in Cleveland in 1939. In 1955 Thea and Fred adopted Julia Weinstock, a 14 year old Jewish Polish girl whose parents were murdered in the Holocaust. She survived by hiding in a forest bunker near Lvov. When that became too dangerous her grandfather took her and they both hid in a Catholic woman’s house.
Collection of photographs, correspondence, documents and school report cards relating to Thea Löwenstein Klestadt and Fritz Fred Klestadt from Düsseldorf (donor's adoptive parents). The couple married in 1935, went on a honeymoon to Palestine, and returned to Germany. In October 1937, after securing US visas, they left Germany, arriving in New York on November 12, 1937. They moved to Cleveland, OH, in 1939. Thea and Fred Klestadt adopted Julie and they became a family.