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Airmail box used to store his war medals by a German Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2011.259.17 a-b

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    Brief Narrative
    Airmail box used by Carl Werner Lenneberg to store his World War I (1914-1918) medals and ribbons. Lenneberg was a soldier in the 8th (Rhenish) Foot Artillery Battalion, XVI Army Corps, German Army, during the First World War. In January 1933, Hitler and the Nazi regime took power. Anti-Jewish policies put increasingly harsh restrictions on Jewish life. Werner and his brother Georg were arrested during Kristallnacht, November 9-10, 1938, and sent to Dachau concentration camp. After release, they left Germany on the ill-fated voyage of the MS St. Louis to Havana, Cuba, May 13-June 17, 1939. Upon the ship's forced return to Europe, Carl and George were in the group given asylum in Belgium. In April 1940, they sailed from Antwerp to New York.
    use:  after 1940
    manufacture: United States
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ron Lenneberg
    a. underside, sticker, blue ink : L. WERTHEIM(?) / INC. / 10-0 / 2607 / 50¢
    b. top, lower right corner, red and blue ink : Air Mail / MARCUS WARD INC.
    b. front, blue ink : 48 SHEETS / (SINGLE); 7771 / (MADE IN U.S.A.); 24 ENVELOPES / (LINED)
    b. top, left side, pencil : W / 31
    Subject: Carl W. Lenneberg
    Carl Werner Lenneberg (1899-1989) was born on November 5, 1899 in Remscheid, Germany and had an older brother Georg (b. 1898). Their father, and later Carl and his family, owned a store in Remscheid. Carl was a soldier in the 8th (Rhenish) Foot Artillery Reserve Battalion, XVI Army Corps, German Army, during the First World War. He was awarded several medals for his combat service. Carl’s fiancé, Hildegarde Hilb (Hilde, b. 1912 in Ulm) immigrated to the United States in May 1937. Carl and Georg were arrested during Kristallnacht in November 1938 and sent to Dachau concentration camp. They were released in December.

    Carl, Georg, and Fritz Hilb (b.1919 in Ulm), Hilde’s brother, booked passage on the MS St. Louis and left for Havana, Cuba, on May 13, 1939, with 937 passengers. During the voyage, Carl wrote nearly daily letters to Hilde as well as others in Germany and kept a diary. After the ship was denied entry in Cuba and returned to Europe they disembarked in Antwerp, Belgium and got an apartment in Brussels along with another shipmate, Fritz Buff. Carl and Georg used this time to continue learning English. Fritz Hilb left for England and, in February 1940, sailed from Liverpool on the MS Scythia. On April 11, 1940, Carl and Georg left on the SS Westernland from Antwerp, arriving in New York on April 25. On April 27, 1940 Carl married Hilde. They settled in New York City and had a son.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Cartons (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    a. Shallow, rectangular, white, treated paper covered cardboard box base with a white sticker on the bottom.
    b. Shallow, rectangular, white, treated paper covered cardboard box lid with a blue ink illustration of a dive-bombing airplane in the upper left corner shooting a jagged red line diagonally downward. In the bottom right corner is English text over 3 horizontal blue lines. There are several lines of illegible markings in green pencil across the top.
    a: Height: 1.250 inches (3.175 cm) | Width: 5.250 inches (13.335 cm) | Depth: 8.500 inches (21.59 cm)
    b: Height: 1.250 inches (3.175 cm) | Width: 5.500 inches (13.97 cm) | Depth: 8.625 inches (21.908 cm)
    a : cardboard, paper, adhesive, ink
    b : cardboard, paper, ink, colored pencil, graphite, adhesive

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The money was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2011 by Ron Lenneberg, the son of Carl Werner Lenneberg.
    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 20:14:02
    This page:

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