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Engraved silver cigarette case used by a Polish Jewish refugee in Russia

Object | Accession Number: 2009.352.2

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    Engraved silver cigarette case used by a Polish Jewish refugee in Russia
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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Cigarette case that belonged to Alfred Majzner, a Jewish engineer, who, following the 1939 invasion of Poland by Germany, fled to the Russian-occupied sector to the east. He was assigned living quarters for his family in Bialystock, Poland, on July 25, 1940. Soon after his wife and family arrived the Russians deported the Jewish inhabitants further west. Alfred died in Kazakhstan in 1942. His second wife and widow, Bronislawa, had the case decorated around 1944 with her initials, BM, and the names of their daughter, Lucia, his children from his first marriage, Dita and Todek, and her deceased, first husband, Fredek. Bronislawa and Lucia returned to Poland when the war ended in 1945 and successfully sued for the return of Alfred's property which had been confiscated during the occupation.
    Date
    use:  1942-1944
    Geography
    use: Chkalov (Soltustik Qazaqstan oblysy, Kazakhstan)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Margareta Kligert
    Contributor
    Subject: Alfred Majzner
    Subject: Bronislawa Majzner
    Biography
    Alfred Majzner was born in Kalisz, Poland, in 1887. He was married to Maria-Ruth Tastl, who was from Vienna. They had two children, Edyta (Dita) and Teodor (Todek). Maria-Ruth died of fever soon after Teodor was born in 1918. His second marriage was to Bronislawa. They had a daughter, Lucyna (Lucia), in 1922. Alfred was an engineer in Krakow. In 1938, he bought a plot of land and built a second house in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland. Teodor went to London to study. During the war, he would join the RAF, but he never returned to Poland. Edyta went to Vienna and Brussels, Belgium, to study fine art. After the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, Alfred, Bronislawa, and Lucia fled east to the Russian-occupied part of Poland. Majzner was assigned an apartment in Białystok, Poland, on January 25, 1940; in March 1941, he was in Archangelsk, Russia. The family was later deported, with the other Jews in the region, to Chkalov, Kazakhstan, where Alfred, 55, died in 1942.
    Bronislawa Majzner was married to Alfred Majzner, around 1920. Majzner was her second husband; her first husband, Fredek, was deceased. Majzner was recently widowed, with 2 young children, Dita and Teodor. Bronislawa and Alfred had a daughter named Lucyna (Lucia) in 1922. She owned her own glove shop and Alfred was an engineer in Krakow. In 1938-1939, he bought a plot and built a house for the family in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland. After the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, Bronislawa, Alfred, and Lucia fled east to the Russian-occupied part of Poland. They were assigned an apartment in Białystok, Poland, on January 25, 1940. The family was later deported, with the other Jews in the region, to Chkalov, Kazakhstan, where Alfred died in 1942, aged 55. After the war, in 1946, Bronislawa and Lucia were awarded title to the house in Piotrków Trybunalski.

    Physical Details

    Language
    Polish
    Physical Description
    Silver, hinged cigarette case with gold colored detailing and beveled edges. The upper surface has 6 inscriptions attached to the case in gold colored metal; the flat surface is decorated with vertical lines and the border has a wavy line design. The left side of the face has a push button protruding from the center edge. The flat part of the underside is decorated with 3 gold colored bands, a center band with an engraved floral design, and 2 plain bands. The border has a floral lattice design. The interior is lined with gold colored metal. There are 3 small, illegible, maker's marks on either side of the case.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 3.125 inches (7.938 cm) | Width: 2.000 inches (5.08 cm)
    Materials
    overall : silver, metal, cloth, rubber
    Inscription
    face, raised gold letters : upper left corner: Fredek
    face. raised gold letters : upper right corner: 7 (in a circle)
    face, raised gold letters : right corner below: Lucia
    face, raised gold letters : center: oval with initials BM
    face, raised gold letters : bottom left corner: Dita
    face, raised gold letters : bottom right corner: Todek

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The cigarette case was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2009 by Margareta Kligert, the granddaughter of Alfred and Bronislawa Majzner.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-31 10:16:06
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn39843

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