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Stuffed toy monkey used to smuggle money by Austrian Jewish woman

Object | Accession Number: 2010.486.2

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    Stuffed toy monkey used to smuggle money by Austrian Jewish woman


    Brief Narrative
    Stuffed toy monkey used by 26 year old Helena Fuchs to smuggle money from Vienna, Austria, to England in 1938. Since anti-Jewish laws restricted the amount of money Jews could take out of the country, Helena sewed money inside the monkey. Helena was living in Vienna when it was annexed by Nazi Germany in March 1938. Her fiance, Victor Koves, had already left Vienna and settled in London, England. They decided that Helena should join him and they married in London on December 30, 1938. In the early 1940s, they left for Shanghai by way of Canada, but they were able to obtain US visas in Canada and emigrated to New York.
    use:  after 1938 March
    received: Vienna (Austria)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the family of Lewis Victor Koves and Helena Koves
    Subject: Helena Koves
    Helena (Helly) Fuchs was born on October 4, 1911. She lived in Vienna, Austria, with her parents and worked as a senior cashier in a large retail store. In March 1938, the Anschluss, or the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany, occurred. Jews were disenfranchised and no longer permitted to take part in many activities and professions. Shortly after the Anschluss, Helena’s fiancé, Victor Koves, arranged for her to join him in London, England. Victor was born on June 11, 1913, and had worked with Helena before he emigrated to London. Victor worked various jobs and Helena worked as a housekeeper in London. They married on December 30, 1938. Victor and Helena avoided internment as enemy aliens because they held visas for Shanghai; one of Victor’s employers possibly vouched for them. In the early 1940s when submarines were very active, Victor and Helena decided to leave for Shanghai via Canada. A consular official in Canada arranged for them to get US visas and they emigrated to New York. Helena passed away on April 12, 2000. (Lewis) Victor passed away on April 19, 2010.

    Physical Details

    Stuffed animals
    Physical Description
    Stuffed toy monkey with thick, matted, light brown and gray artificial fur. The head, arms, legs, and tail, are sewn on separately. The face, ears, hands and feet are covered in worn, light brown plush cloth. It has small, sunken brown glass eyes with black pupils and red painted nostril holes and lips. There are stitched vertical lines for fingers, offwhite stitching around the left arm, and a tear in the left hand and foot.
    overall: Height: 10.500 inches (26.67 cm) | Width: 8.750 inches (22.225 cm) | Depth: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm)
    overall : synthetic fiber, cloth, glass, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The stuffed monkey was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010 by Pam Brighton Cavar, the great-niece of Helena and Lewis Victor Koves.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 21:51:11
    This page:

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