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Set of tefillin buried for safekeeping while the owner lived in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 2007.471.5 a-b

Tefillin pair buried for safekeeping by Johanna Baruch Boas while she lived in hiding in Brussels, Belgium, from 1942-1944. They were used by her husband Bernhard who died in Berlin, Germany, in 1932. Tefillin are small boxes that contain prayers that are attached to leather straps and worn by Orthodox Jewish males during morning prayers. Johanna brought the tefillin with her when she fled Nazi Germany for Brussels in March 1939 with her daughter’s family. Germany occupied Belgium in May 1940 and by 1942 there were frequent deportations of Jews to concentration camps. Johanna had a non-Jewish landlady who hid her in her attic. In December 1944, a few months after the liberation of Belgium, Johanna was reunited with her 11 year old niece, Beatrice Westheimer, who had been placed in hiding in a small country village. Her mother, Johanna's daughter, and her father, as well as a paternal uncle, had been killed at Auschwitz. Johanna and Beatrice joined family members in the United States in 1946.

use:  before 1932
recovered:  after 1944 December
recovery: buried for safekeeping; Brussels (Belgium)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Tefillin (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Beatrice Muchman
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:25:38
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