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Wooden box with carved floral decorations used by a hidden child

Object | Accession Number: 2009.204.5

Wooden box with carved flowers used by Ilona Goldman to store the drawings that she made while in hiding in Lvov, Poland (L'viv, Ukraine) from 1942-1944. The box may have originally belonged to a Jewish man who came daily from the ghetto to work in the factory where Ilona's father worked. Ilona's family lived at the factory and this man begged her mother to keep a locked wooden box with carved flowers for a few days. She uncomfortably said yes and he told her that if he did not return in a month, the contents were hers. He unlocked it to show it was filled with jewels. He came back two weeks later and told Gusta to take what she liked. She chose a small gold pin with diamonds. He dumped the contents into a bag around his neck and left. Ilona and her parents Gusta and Salomon fled Krakow for Russian controlled Lvov (Lviv, Ukraine), soon after the German invasion in September 1939. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 and occupied Lvov, the Wehrmacht took over the factory. After several months, Salomon and his family were forced to move into the Jewish ghetto. In spring 1942, fearing liquidation of the ghetto, Salomon was offered a hiding place by a former employee, Jozef Jozak. His Russian Orthodox wife Rozalie did not want them in their home and they would not hide Ilona because they thought it would be too hard to conceal a lively 2 year-old child. Ilona was smuggled out to the countryside and placed in hiding as a Christian child with a Polish woman, Hania Seremet, paid to hide her. After 6 months, they could no longer pay for her care, and Hania dumped Ilona back with her parents, without the knowledge of the Jozak family. The three had to stay hidden nearly all the time in one small room. The family lived in hiding until the Soviet Army liberated the city in July 1944. When the was ended in May 1945, they returned to Krakow.

use:  1941-1944
use: Lvov (Poland) (historic); L'viv (Ukraine)
Object Type
Wooden boxes (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alona Frankel
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:26:13
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