Steiff teddy bear used to smuggle valuables out of Vienna
received: Vienna (Austria)
- Object Type
Teddy bears (lcsh)
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Richard Butzke, Eva Butzke Wien, and the Butzke family
Golden brown Steiff bear owned by Hans Butzke and used by his parents, Julius and Netty, to smuggle family valuables out of Vienna, Austria, when they left for Panama in early 1940. Jews were not permitted to take valuables from Germany, so Netty sewed the items, including a ring and possibly pearls, inside the bear. She told Hans not to let anyone take it from him, but did not tell him about the jewels hidden inside. The bear wears Hans’ baby clothes. On March 13, 1938, Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany. In early 1940, the family left by train for Amsterdam. German soldiers on the train took the bear away from Hans, 10. He screamed and the men threw the bear back at him while calling him names. The family sailed to Panama. A few months later, they reached the United States and settled in Brooklyn.
Record last modified: 2019-12-05 20:56:01
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn186699
Also in John Butzke family collection
The collection consists of a teddy bear, documents, and photographs relating to the experiences of Hans (later John) Butzke and his parents Julius and Netty before and during the war in Vienna, Austria, and in Panama and the United States following their 1940 immigration.
Consists of papers and photographs related to family of Julius, Netty, and John (Hans) Butzke, originally of Vienna, Austria. Includes papers from Julius's pre-war work as an accountant, Netty's pre-war work as a nurse (including service during World War I) and the official papers they collected to support their attempts to immigrate. Includes passports and other travel documents, and documents establishing their lives in the United States.