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Violin, bows, case and accessories recovered from Lodz ghetto and played in DP camps by a Polish Jewish musician

Object | Accession Number: 2010.472.2 a-u

Violin, bows, case, and parts recovered from the Lodz ghetto in Poland and played by Henry Baigelman after the war. The instruments were hidden in an attic by Henry's brother David in the summer of 1944 after they learned that the Germans were going to destroy the ghetto. They were recovered by his brother-in-law after the city was liberated by the Soviets in January 1945. Two violins were recovered: this one and 2010.472.2; one was played by Henry in the ghetto; the other originally belonged to Henry's cousin. Henry was a professional musician in Lodz when Germany occupied Poland on September 1, 1939. He and his family were imprisoned in the Lodz (Litzmannstadt) ghetto where he and David performed with the orchestra. On June 10, 1944, Himmler ordered the ghetto destroyed. David hid the family instruments. On August 4, 1944, the family was deported to Auschwitz where they were separated. Henry was transferred to Kaltwasser, Flossenberg, and Altenhammer concentration camps. In Altenhammer, the camp supervisor had a violin; Henry played for him and received extra rations. On April 20, 1945, the prisoners were sent on a forced march; they were liberated on April 23 by the US Army. Henry traveled to Cham, Germany, where he organized a band, The Happy Boys, that performed in displaced persons camps. Henry and 2 nephews were the only family members who survived the Holocaust. Henry married and emigrated to the United States in 1949.

Date
before 1944 August-after 1945 May  (use)
after 1945 February  (recovered)
Geography
use : displaced persons camps; Germany
recovery : Litzmannstadt-Getto (Lodz ghetto) historic; Lodz (Poland)
Object Type
Violin (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of Henry Baigelman
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:26:48
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn43164