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Paper sheet with two drawings of a couple being separated and then reconciling

Object | Accession Number: 2014.481.3

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    Paper sheet with two drawings of a couple being separated and then reconciling


    Brief Narrative
    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.
    Artwork Title
    Seperation and Reunion
    creation:  after 1939
    creation: Cleveland (Ohio)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Julie Keefer
    Subject: Thea U. Klestadt
    Thea Löwenstein was born December 19, 1912 in Düsseldorf, Germany, to a Jewish couple, Emil and Erna Flechtheim Löwenstein. She had an older sister, Vera (1904-1948). Thea was an artist. On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg. Under Hitler, authorities quickly began suppressing the rights and personal freedoms of Jews, and boycotting their businesses. Thea married Frederick (Fred) L. Klestadt in 1935, and they honeymooned in Palestine, then returned to Düsseldorf. Fred was born in Düsseldorf on March 15, 1909 to Moritz and Rahel Aenne Lilienfeld Klestadt. He had a younger sister, Hilda (1913-1914). Fred was a well-educated man with a PhD.
    In September, the authorities instituted the Nuremberg Laws which made Jews second class citizens, revoking their political rights. These laws also defined a "Jew" as someone with three or four Jewish grandparents or who is practicing Jewish faith. The laws also banned marriage between Jews and non-Jews. Jews were also prohibited from working as lawyers, accountants, teachers and barred from civil service professions.
    Thea and Fred secured US visas and in October 1937, they left Germany. They arrived in New York on November 12, 1937. They moved to Cleveland Ohio in 1939. Fred worked as a traveling salesman. In 1955 the Klestadts adopted 14 year old Jula (Julie) Weinstock, a Jewish Polish girl whose parents were murdered in the Holocaust while hiding in a forest bunker near Lvov Poland in April 1944. Julie’s grandfather, afraid the childrens’ cries would alert the Germans took Julie and her infant sister to hide with a Christian woman. Later Julie’s sister was sent to a Catholic children’s home to keep her safe. She was taken away from the orphanage they never saw her sister again. After the war Julie’s grandfather sent her to America because young orphans received preferential treatment for US entry visas. Julie and her husband Larry have two children and live in Washington DC. Fred, aged 86, died on November 30, 1995 in Cleveland. Thea, aged 92, died on September 25, 2005 in Cleveland.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Pencil drawing (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    A couple depicted in two pencil drawings with colored pencil accents on a faded white sheet of paper separated by vertical, wavy red and gray lines. The left drawing shows the outside of a multistory apartment building with two fire escapes. A crescent moon and 6 pointed Stars of David sit in the sky above. Out of the leftmost window on the fifth floor, hangs a dark haired woman in a blue shirt. Tears are falling from her face and she has a tissue in her outstretched hand. On the street, in front of the building is a man with a suitcase, marked FTK, in one hand, his hat in the other, and a bag at his feet. He is standing next to a gray car and looking up at the woman. The right drawing depicts the couple kissing while seated outside on a bench swing suspended by rope from 2 leafy trees. His arm is around her shoulders, their legs are extended, and to their left is a small dog. The woman wears a blue knee length skirt with red trim at the neckline, hem and waist. The man has blue pants with a white shirt, the sleeves rolled up. The ground in front of them is speckled with red and blue flowers. In the background is a house with a red roof surrounded by grass.
    overall: Height: 7.375 inches (18.733 cm) | Width: 10.375 inches (26.353 cm)
    overall : paper, pencil, ink, colored pencil

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The drawings were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Julie Klestadt Keefer, the adopted daughter of Fritz and Thea Löwenstein Klestadt.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 21:51:14
    This page:

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