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Blue velvet bimah cover desecrated during Kristallnacht

Object | Accession Number: 2006.496.2

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    Brief Narrative
    Bimah cover, a cloth for covering a Torah stand, that was desecrated during the destruction of the synagogue in Hamm [Oberlandesgerichtsbezirk], Germany, on Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938. It was recovered from the street by Felix Simons, a synagogue member who lived behind the temple. He entrusted the bimah to non-Jewish neighbors for safekeeping. It was retrieved after the war by his daughter, Hanna. In 1941, the Simons family, Felix, his wife, Johanna, and 3 children, Hanna, Fritz, and Rudy, were deported to the ghetto in Riga, Latvia, and in 1943, to the Riga-Kaiserwald concentration camp. When they were transferred to the Stutthof concentration camp, Felix and the 2 boys were separated from Hanna and her mother. Fifteen year old Hanna and her mother survived together, but they never saw the rest of their family again.
    received:  1945-1947
    use:  1938 November 09
    use: desecrated synagogue; Hamm (Germany : Oberlandesgerichtsbezirk)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Hanna Marx
    front center, embroidered in gold colored thread : Hebrew text [transliteration: Tehilat yedaber pi / My mouth will speak of the glory of God]
    Subject: Hanna Marx
    Hannelore (Hanna) Simons was born in Hamm, Germany, in 1928, to Felix, born June 6, 1898, and Johanna Schulhaus Simons, born September 21, 1896. They were an orthodox Jewish family. She had two older brothers, Fritz, born on January 15, 1922, and Rudy, born on July 7, 1927. In 1941, the family was deported to Burgsteinfurt, Germany, and then Riga, Latvia, where they were imprisoned in the ghetto. The Riga ghetto was liquidated between June and November 1943, with the inhabitants transported to Kaiserwald or Auschwitz concentration camps. Hanna was a slave laborer in the Kaiserwald camp. The family was deported to Stuffhof concentration camp in Poland, at which point, Hanna and her mother became separated from her father and brothers. She and her mother, who survived together, never saw them again. Hanna and her mother were liberated at Putzig (Danzig) concentration camp in 1945 by the Soviet Army. They returned to Burgsteinfurt, but in 1947, they resettled in the American zone in Germany. In 1949, they were permitted to emigrate to the United States. Hanna married Helmut Marx, a survivor of Theresienstadt and Treblinka concentration camps, on January 28, 1950. They had five children. Her mother, Johanna Simons, died at age 70, on June 6, 1966, in Chicago, Illinois.

    Physical Details

    Jewish Art and Symbolism
    Object Type
    Bimah covers (ushmm)
    Physical Description
    Navy blue velvet, rectangular, bimah cover, with blue cotton liner and Hebrew letters stitched with gold-colored thread on the front. There is a curved accent in the center, below one of the letters.
    overall: Height: 28.000 inches (71.12 cm) | Width: 13.125 inches (33.338 cm)
    overall : velvet, cotton, thread

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The bimah cover was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2006 by Hanna Marx.
    Record last modified:
    2022-11-02 15:13:03
    This page:

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