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Plastic eyeglass frames, temple and lenses worn by a Jewish concentration camp inmate

Object | Accession Number: 2010.494.2 a-d

Eyeglass frames, temple, and lenses worn by Karl Schlesinger while a prisoner in several concentration camps from May 1939, when he was 22, until April 1945. As he was processed for prison, a German civilian warned him not to wear his glasses so he hid them in his hands. The eyeglass bridge was repaired by a German civilian working in one camp. By May 1939, Karl had fled Nazi Germany for Belgium. He was imprisoned twice by the Belgians, first as an illegal Jewish refugee, then as a German spy. He was sent to a military hospital in France and when Germany occupied that country in June 1940, he was transferred to St-Cyprien and Gurs internment camps. In August 1942, Karl was deported to Trezbinia concentration camp, then to Auschwitz, where he was tattooed with 160304. In November 1943, he was sent to Warsaw to clean the ghetto after the failed uprising. When Soviet troops approached in July 1944, he was forced on a death march and sent by train to Dachau, then Allach. He was liberated on a train on April 29 in Starnberger See by an American tank division. He traveled to Feldalfing and other dp camps where he heard that his parents were alive in Berlin. After two tries, he illegally crossed into the Soviet sector to find them. Karl reunited with his parents, Philipp and Johanna, in Berlin that November.

use:  1939 May-1945 April
use: concentration camps; France
use: concentration camps; Germany
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Karl Schlesinger
Record last modified: 2021-03-08 15:45:25
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