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French Deaf-Mute National Cup basketball medal awarded to a German Jewish athlete

Object | Accession Number: 2005.602.5.2

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    French Deaf-Mute National Cup basketball medal awarded to a German Jewish athlete


    Brief Narrative
    National deaf-mute championship basketball medal awarded in 1938 to Max Feld. In 1938, he left Germany for Paris to be with Raisa Steinberg, whom he had met when they were students at the Israelite School for the Deaf in Berlin. They married in 1939, and had a daughter, Esther, in 1940. Paris was occupied by the Germans in the summer of 1940 and foreign Jews were targeted for arrest. In May 1941, Max was sent to Beaune-la-Rolande interment camp; in July 1942, he was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Raisa went into hiding with Esther in July 1942 in the countryside outside Paris. They returned to Paris after it was liberated by Allied Forces on August 15, 1944. Max was reported as missing. Several years later, Raisa learned that Max had been killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau in September 1942.
    commemoration:  1938
    use: Paris (France)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Esther Feld Weisel
    Subject: Esther Weisel
    Subject: Max Feld
    Esther Feld was born on December 22, 1940, in Paris, France, to Max and Raisa (Rose) Steinberg Feld. Max, born on January 6, 1915, in Berlin, Germany, and Raisa, born on April 1, 1917, in Kiev, Russia (Ukraine), had met as students at the Israelite School for the Deaf in Berlin, Germany. Raisa had emigrated with her family from Germany to Paris in 1938. Max joined her there and they married in December 1939. After Paris fell to the Germans on June 14, 1940, anti-Jewish regulations were enacted and foreign Jews were targeted for arrest. Her father was deported to Beaune-la-Rolande internment camp in May 1941 and transported to Birkenau concentration camp in July 1942. Her mother was assigned to a clothing factory, sewing fur coats for German officers.
    In July 1942, a French policeman warned Raisa that she should leave Paris. Raisa and Esther left Paris with Raisa’s mother and sister, Tauba and Sara Steinberg. The family had a summer home in nearby Villepointe and after staying at multiple farmhouses in the countryside, they decided to hide there. Esther was put in the care of a babysitter and then a non-Jewish couple, Monsieur and Madame Trene, a nurse. Raisa, Tauba, and Sara hid in the basement under a vault and a trap door. They lived this way for about nine months, until American soldiers came into the house in the summer of 1944 to tell them that they were free. Madame Trene did not want to give Esther back to Raisa. But after repeated demands by Raisa, Madame Trene thrust Esther at Raisa. The family returned to Paris where they found that their apartment had been emptied of all its contents. Max never returned and it was not until many years later that they learned that at age twenty-seven, he had been killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau in September 1942.
    In 1947, the Venezuelan government announced that they would accept 2000 Jewish refugees from Paris. Esther, Raisa, Tauba, and Sara emigrated that year. In 1949, Esther and Raisa moved to New York. Raisa married Ted Rosman. Esther moved to California in 1963, where she married and had two sons.
    Max Feld was born on January 6, 1915, in Berlin, Germany, to Wolf, born September 18, 1891, in Lutowska, Poland, and Martha Eisenberg, born February 1, 1894 in Dukla, Poland. His father delivered medical supplies and his mother sewed raincoats. Max had two younger brothers, Alfred, born on March 15, 1924, and Sidney (Sigi), born on June 4, 1925. Max was born deaf and his parents sent him the Israelite School for the Deaf (Hebrew School for the Deaf) in Berlin, Germany. He met Raisa Steinberg, born April 1, 1917, in Kiev, USSR (Ukraine), a fellow student, in 1928.
    Max and Raisa stayed in contact and when Raisa left Poland in 1938 to join her parents in Paris, France, she stopped n Berlin to visit Max. Raisa’s parents had emigrated from Poland because the increasing anti-Semitism was making it difficult to live there. At the end of the year, Max’s family decided to leave Nazi Germany for South America. They stopped in Paris to visit the Steinbergs. Max and Raisa became engaged. Raisa’s parents did not want her to go so far away, so Max remained with the Steinberg’s, while his family continued on their journey. They would eventually settle in the United States. Raisa’s father, Michel, helped Max get a job as a dental technician. Max and Raisa married on December 26, 1939. In June 1940, France surrendered to Germany. Paris was occupied by the Germans and ant-Jewish regulations were put in place restricting their movements, and establishing curfews and food rationing. Foreign Jews were especially vulnerable and often arrested and imprisoned. Max and Raisa’s daughter, Esther, was born on December 22, 1940. Max was deported to Beaune La Rolande internment camp on May 1941. Raisa and Esther were able to visit him three times before he was sent to Pithiviers on June 6, 1942. He was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland on July 19 and killed that September.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Sports--Medals (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Silver colored metal, circular medallion with a relief image of a man in a sleeveless sports shirt and shorts leaping with a ball in his outstretched arms to make a basket. The background has a sectional pattern of curved, raised lines. In the upper left are 2 enameled letters F, one blue, one red. On the lower right are 2 enameled letters: an F in white and a B or possibly P in red. At the top is an opening with a suspension ring. The reverse has engraved French text.
    overall: Height: 1.250 inches (3.175 cm) | Width: 0.875 inches (2.223 cm) | Depth: 0.125 inches (0.318 cm) | Diameter: 0.900 inches (2.286 cm)
    overall : metal, enamel paint

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The deaf-mute sports medallion was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Esther Feld Weisel, the daughter of Max Feld.
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:11:17
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