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Tefillin worn by a Lithuanian Jewish man in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 1990.251.1.2

Tefillin worn by Aron Katz in Shavel [Siauliai] ghetto and in hiding in Lithuania from July 1941 to October 1944. Aron received the tefillin for his bar mitzvah circa 1900 and wore them every day for the rest of his life. Aron, wife Rachel, and children Leib and Nachman fled Shavel in June 1941, when Germany invaded. They went east with the retreating Soviet Army, until they were separated from Leib and overrun by the Germans. During the invasion, Lithuanians carried out pogroms and German mobile units, with Lithuanian auxiliaries, massacred thousands of Jews. The Katz family returned to Shavel, and, in July, were interned in the ghetto. Selections were frequent and Rachel was killed in September. In November 1943, after nearly 800 children and elderly people were killed, Aron, Nachman, and Nachman’s wife Sima escaped to the countryside where they hid with Aron’s sister Rochel Remen and her family. Several farm families hid them, but they had to move often as the Germans continually searched for hidden Jews. In October 1944, the region was liberated by Soviet forces. Leib was killed in 1943 while serving in the Soviet Army. In 1946, Aron, Nachman, and Sima got false papers and left Soviet ruled Lithuania. They lived in displaced persons camps in Germany until emigrating to Palestine and the United States.

use:  approximately 1900-1967
received: Rietavas (Lithuania)
use: Siauliai (Lithuania)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Tefillin (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Nathan Katz, in memory of his father Aharon Ben-Zion Katz, for his great love of life and freedom
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:21:22
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