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Kiki the monkey puppet used by a young US soldier to entertain children in a liberated internment camp

Object | Accession Number: 2009.203.2

Monkey hand puppet named Kiki used by 23 year old US Army private, Eldon G. Nicholas, to entertain children in September 1944 at the recently liberated Vittel internment camp in France. The Germans established the Vittel camp in 1940 to imprison citizens of neutral or enemy countries for possible exchange with German prisoners. However, over 100 Jewish inmates were deported from the camp and killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The camp was liberated by the 3rd Army on September 9, 1944. Private First Class (Pfc.) Nicholas served as an ambulance driver for the 548th Medical Ambulance Company of the United States Army in Europe during World War II. While at the camp, photographs were taken of Eldon with the puppet. In a V-mail to his father back home in Meadwataka, MI, Eldon wrote: “That’s where I had my picture taken with that little monkey, this woman made.”

Date
1944 September 09  (use)
Geography
use : Vittel (Concentration camp); Vittel (France)
Language
English
Classification
Toys
Category
Stuffed animals
Object Type
Hand puppets (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the family of Eldon G. Nicholas
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:08:22
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn37941