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Monogrammed bath towel used in the Krakow ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 2008.227.3

Towel used by Kay Selinger Nabel throughout the Holocaust, 1939-1945. It originally belonged to her mother, Henryka Selinger, whose initials are embroidered in one corner. Soon after Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Kay left her family in Krakow and fled with her future husband, Edward Nabel, to Lvov (Lviv, Ukraine] where his parents had already relocated. They married there in June 1940. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, they returned to Krakow to escape the anti-Jewish pogroms launched by the Germans and the local Ukrainian population. When the Krakow ghetto was being liquidated by the Germans, Henryka and Kay's father, Kay's sister and her husband, and Edward's parents were deported to Treblinka killing center and murdered. Kay and Edward were sent to Bauhof labor camp. They later escaped and, around November 1942, assumed false identities as Polish Catholics. They were sent as forced labor to Germany. Under their false identities, they were not married, so although for a time they worked on the same farm, most of this time they were assigned to separate locations. When they learned that Allied forces were approaching, they escaped and hid in the forests near Kongishofen where they were liberated by American troops on April 8, 1945. In October 1949, Kay and Edward emigrated to the US.

Date
1939-1945  (use)
Geography
received : Krakow (Poland)
Classification
Furnishings and Furniture
Category
Household linens
Object Type
Bath towels (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Kay Nabel
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:26:46
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn36332