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Identification tag with name and birthdate issued to a Jewish refugee child

Object | Accession Number: 2008.319.2

Identification tag issued to four-year-old Marcel Lechtman in 1944 while in the care of a children’s home in Switzerland run by Margaret Locher, after escaping France with his mother, Tonia, and sister, Vera. The tag is engraved with his name and birthdate, the name of his foster parent, and the address of the home. Marcel was born in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, France, to Russian and Polish parents, who had immigrated to France from Palestine as a result of being forced out for their communist activities. His father, Sioma, fought for the Communist International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, and was subsequently interned in several camps, including Saint-Cyprien, before being deported to Auschwitz. In 1940, Tonia sent Marcel and Vera to a children’s home in Limoges. While there, Tonia met a Swiss woman named Margaret Locher, who visited the home for several weeks. In 1942, Tonia, Vera, and Marcel were arrested and sent to the Nexon internment camp, from where they were supposed to be deported. A local officer arranged their release, and they returned to Limoges to hide before escaping to Switzerland. They stayed in refugee camps until April 1943, when Marcel and Vera were placed in the care of their mother’s friend, Margaret Locher, who opened a home near Zurich named “Rebhaus,” for Jewish children whose parents were in internment or refugee camps. After the war's end in 1945, Tonia began doing relief work with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee in France, Germany, and Poland. Marcel and Vera remained with Margaret until late 1947, when they were able to join Tonia in her native country of Poland.

manufacture:  1944
use:  1944-before 1947 December
issue: Küsnacht (Switzerland)
Identifying Artifacts
Object Type
Name tags (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Vera Lechtman
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 21:51:05
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