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British ordnance box given to a German Jewish family in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 1990.307.3

Metal ordnance box gifted to the Heppner family by Scottish soldier, Charlie Fraser, following the September 1944 liberation of the southern Netherlands. Eleven-year-old Max Heppner became a mascot for the British soldiers that occupied the area near the farm where he had been in hiding. Max wanted an ammunition box that he could use as a lunchbox, but translation miscommunication led Charlie to bring him one that had contained much larger shells. The family used it to store possessions instead. Max was living with his German parents, Albert and Irene, in Amsterdam, when Germany occupied the Netherlands in May 1940. The new civil administration run by the SS gradually tightened control on the residents, and required Jews to register their business assets. Albert’s work permit was rescinded in 1940, but he continued dealing illegally on a small scale. In 1942, the authorities raided their home for valuables on multiple occasions, and began rounding up Jews for deportation in the summer. Albert and his friend, Heinz Graumann, were connected to an underground group who promised to smuggle their families out of the country. They left Amsterdam on August 9, and the smugglers moved them through a series of hiding places. On September 10, the Heppners were placed on a farm owned by Johann (Harry) and Hubertina (Dina) Janssen in Zeilberg-Deurne, where they resided in an empty chicken house. After the Netherlands was liberated in early May, Albert set out to check on his friends and business in Amsterdam. On June 5, Albert suddenly became very ill and died of liver failure. Irene and Max returned to Amsterdam, and lived with friends until their immigration to the United States in November 1946.

received:  1944 September-1944 December
use: Deurne (Netherlands)
use: United States
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Max Amichai Heppner
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:33:54
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