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Woman's gold wrist watch kept with a Jewish concentration camp inmate

Object | Accession Number: 2009.360.1

Gold wrist watch carried by Marga Gussinoff throughout her imprisonment in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and Vittel internment camp from 1943-1944. The wrist band was added to the watch after the war. In 1943, Marga and her mother, Sarah, were arrested by the Gestapo at their apartment in Berlin, Germany. Her sister, Eva, was in hiding with a German woman at the time, but joined them after their arrest. The Gestapo demanded that they turn over all their money and jewelry, but 20 year old Marga "being that I was rebellious, I had this watch, a gold watch, and I decided not to give it to them. And I pick it, --and at the time I had nice hair--, and I put it in my hair. And this survived the Holocaust with me…”They were in Bergen-Belsen for 1.5 years, then were sent to Vittel, where they were liberated by the US Army in September 1944. After a short stay in a displaced persons camp, Marga went to Paris and got papers for the 3 of them to emigrate to Palestine. Marga used the watch for the rest of her life as a visual aid when she gave speeches about her experiences during the Holocaust.

Date
1943-1944  (use)
Geography
received : Berlin (Germany)
use : Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp); Belsen (Bergen, Celle, Germany)
use : Vittel (Concentration camp); Vittel (France)
Language
English
Category
Timepieces
Object Type
Wrist watches (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ilan and Terry Lakritz
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:25:11
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn39182