Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

Star of David badge with Jude worn by Austrian Jewish woman

Object | Accession Number: 2013.515.2

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Star of David badge with Jude worn by Austrian Jewish woman

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Star of David badge worn by Edith Löw in Vienna, Austria, from September 1, 1941, until her liberation in April 1945. Austrian Jews were required to wear Judenstern (Jewish Stars) at all times to humiliate and mark them as Jews. Edith and her mother Friedericke got their patches at the Jewish community center and hemmed them to look nicer. After Germany annexed Austria in March 1938, Edith’s father Otto lost his job and fled to Yugoslavia. At age 14, Edith stopped attending school and worked at the Jewish community daycare. By late summer 1942, the center closed because of mass deportations of Jews, so Edith worked for the Jewish Children’s Home. Her mother was a nurse at the Jewish hospital. In October 1941, Edith’s grandmother, uncle, aunt, and cousin were deported to Theresienstadt. Edith and her mother were not deported because they worked for the Jewish community. In March 1944, Edith’s mother was sent to Theresienstadt. She was told that Edith could come with her, but she decided Edith was safer in Vienna. Edith was still working at the Children's Home when the city was liberated in April 1945. Edith’s mother, uncle, and aunt perished in the camps.
    Date
    use:  approximately 1941 September-1945 April
    Geography
    use: Vienna (Austria)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Edith Löw Taussig
    Markings
    front, center, black dye : Jude [Jew]
    Contributor
    Subject: Edith R. Taussig
    Biography
    Edith Renate Loew (Low) was born on February 8, 1926, in Vienna, Austria, the only child of Otto and Friedericke Lamberg Low. Otto was born on March 13, 1889, to Samuel and Elisabeth (Elise) Goldberger Low. Otto had an older brother, Jack, who immigrated to the United States. Edith’s mother Friedericke was born on December 1, 1894, in Vienna, to Dr. Ignaz and Hermine Fanto Lamberg. Friedericke had a brother, Hans, who was born on December 25, 1891. Otto and Friedericke met during World War I (1914-1918). Otto was wounded while serving in the Austrian Army and Friedericke was a nurse at the hospital. The couple married on May 5, 1918. Otto was an assistant bank manager and head bookkeeper. The family was middle class and employed a live-in maid. They were Jewish, but very assimilated and not very observant. They celebrated the Jewish holidays, as well as Christmas and Easter. In 1937, Edith’s paternal grandmother Elise died.

    On March 12, 1938, Germany annexed Austria. Germany’s anti-Jewish legislation was extended to Austria. Friedericke was taken by the Gestapo and forced to scrub the streets with a toothbrush. In late spring, Otto lost his job at the bank because he was Jewish. In late summer, he decided to leave Austria and went to Zagreb, Yugoslavia, where he had a distant cousin. He planned to have Edith and Friedericke join him later. Around September, Edith and Friedericke could no longer afford their apartment. They moved in with Friedericke’s brother Hans, his wife Relly Weiss (b. 1902), their daughter, Susi (b. 1925), and Friedericke’s mother Hermine (b. 1864). Hans was a doctor and could only see Jewish patients. In August, Jewish women had to add the middle name Sara to their identification and men had to add the name Israel. On November 10, during the Kristallnacht pogrom, the police came to their apartment and took Edith’s uncle Hans away for a few days. Edith had to transfer to a Jewish school after Jewish children were banned from public schools on November 12. In early 1939, Friedericke had to surrender her jewelry and valuables to the German authorities. Friedericke began working as a nurse at a Jewish old age home to support them. Edith and Friedericke tried to leave Austria and got visas for the US, but the war began on September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, and they were unable to leave. Edith and her family had to move several times, as apartment buildings began banning Jews. In July 1940, Edith stopped attending school. In September, she began taking courses at a Jewish community organization [Israelitische Kultusgemeinde] and learned short hand typing and how to care for children. She worked at their daycare and in the soup kitchen. Edith’s mother was arrested and jailed, snd then released after a few months. In April 1941, Germany invaded Yugoslavia. Edith and Friedericke knew that Otto fled Yugoslavia, but then lost contact with him. In September 1941, Jews were required to wear Star of David badges. They were issued ration cards but received less than non-Jews. Edith eventually received a small plot of land in the Jewish cemetery from the Jewish community, where she grew onions and potatoes to supplement their meager rations.

    In October 1941, the Germans began mass deportations of Jews from Vienna. By late summer 1942, the Jewish community organization that Edith worked for closed because so many people had been deported. Edith began working at the Jewish children’s home [Fuersorgeaktion fuer Christliche und Konfessionslose Nichtarier der Ostmaerk]. Many of the children in the home were from mixed marriages and had been rejected by their non-Jewish parent. They ranged in age from infants to teenagers. Edith worked primarily with younger children. She taught them to read and write because they were not allowed to attend school. Edith’s mother started working at the Jewish hospital. On October 1, 1942, Edith’s grandmother, Hermine, uncle Hans, aunt Relly, and cousin Susi were deported to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in Czechoslovakia. Edith and Friedericke were exempt from deportation because they worked for the Jewish community. They wrote to their family in Theresienstadt and sent them care packages. Edith and Friedericke moved into a new apartment close to the children's home. In late 1942 or early 1943, Edith began dating another employee at the home, Friedrich Taussig. Friedrich was born on February 25, 1922, in Vienna, Austria, to a Jewish father and Christian mother, Richard and Agnes Marecek Taussig. He was interned in hard labor camps by the Gestapo and got very sick in 1942. He was sent to Vienna to recover in the Jewish hospital, and then was assigned to work in the children's home. Vienna was being bombed. Edith and her mother Friedericke were not allowed to hide in the basement with the non-Jews, so they hid in the bathroom. On Edith’s 18th birthday on February 8, 1944, the Gestapo arrested Friedericke. Friedericke was told she was being sent to Theresienstadt and could take Edith with her or leave her in Vienna. She decided that Edith would be safer in Vienna. On March 10, 1944, Friedericke was sent to Theresienstadt. In fall 1944, Edith stopped receiving letters from her. Edith became very ill with hand, foot, and mouth disease and was hospitalized because she couldn’t eat or drink. She eventually recovered and returned to the children's home. They had very little food and depended on their garden in the Jewish cemetery. On April 10 or 11, 1945, Vienna was liberated by Soviet forces. The war ended when Germany surrendered on May 7.

    Edith anxiously awaited the return of her family members. Through the Jewish community, she learned that her grandmother Hermine had survived Theresienstadt. Hermine returned to Vienna in May. Shortly after, Edith received a letter from her cousin Susi, which said that Edith’s mother Friedericke was dead. On October 19, 1944, Friedericke, Susi, and her parents Hans and Relly were deported to Auschwitz concentration camp. In November or December, Friedericke and Susi were transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, where Friedericke died of typhus on March 17, 1945. Susi was liberated from Bergen-Belsen by the British on April 15, and sent to Sweden to recuperate. Edith’s aunt and uncle perished. On October 27, 1944, Edith’s uncle Hans was deported to Kaufering III, a subcamp of Dachau in Germany, where he died on March 9, 1945. Her aunt Relly died in Auschwitz in 1945. Edith regained contact with her father Otto. Otto fled from Yugoslavia to Italy, Portugal, and then England. Edith worked at the children's home until August 1945. She then worked for US Army Headquarters, assisting with displaced persons. In 1946, Edith’s father emigrated from England to the US. On December 21, 1946, Edith and Friedrich married. The couple decided to immigrate to the US. They left Vienna for Salzburg, then stayed at a displaced persons camp in Bremen, Germany. The couple left Bremen on the SS Stewart, arriving in New York on September 4, 1949. They were greeted by Edith’s father Otto and paternal uncle Jack. Otto suffered a heart attack a week later and died on September 26, 1949. Edith and Friedrich settled in New York. Friedrich changed his name to Frederic. Edith worked as a dental assistant and Frederic as a carpenter. Edith’s grandmother Hermine died on June 22, 1958, in Vienna. Frederic, age 64, died on May 6, 1986, in New York.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Identifying Artifacts
    Category
    Badges
    Physical Description
    Well used, dark yellow cloth badge in the shape of a 6 pointed Star of David. The star is made from 2 black dyed, overlapping triangles, with the German word Jude in a pseudo Hebrew font printed in the center. The badge is hand stitched to stained, gray cloth backing with black thread; the edges of both were folded under before sewing. The badge is discolored, unevenly cut and offcenter, and has loose threads.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 3.750 inches (9.525 cm) | Width: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm)
    Materials
    overall : cloth, dye, thread

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The Star of David badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2015 by Edith Löw Taussig.
    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:
    2022-09-06 16:16:08
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn191225

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us