Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Lightweight brown suitcase carried by a Jewish Austrian refugee child

Object | Accession Number: 2011.281.2

Brown cardboard suitcase carried by 9 year old Alfred Kurz when he and his 10 year old sister, Doriane, emigrated to the United States from Sweden in July 1946. After Germany annexed Austria in March 1938, Alfred's parents, Emil and Klara, decided to leave the country with their two children. They went to Amsterdam, Netherlands, where there was a branch of the Kurz family optical frames business. Germany occupied Holland in May 1940 and, by 1942, deportations of Jews to concentration camps were frequent. Emil was arrested and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and killed. Klara and the children were interned in Westerbork transit camp and, in 1944, deported to Bergen Belsen concentration camp in Germany. In April 1945, as the Allies reached the area, the camp was evacuated by train. During the journey, Klara, Doriane, and Alfred were liberated by Soviet forces. They were repatriated to Amsterdam where Klara died in March 1946. Alfred's uncle, Charles, took the children to Sweden where they would be able to get US immigration visas. In July 1946, they sailed on the SS Gripsholm to join their uncle Benjamin and his family in New York.

received:  1946 March-1946 July
use:  1946 July
received: Goteborg (Sweden)
en route: Gripsholm (Ship); New York (N.Y.)
Object Type
Suitcases (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alfred Kurz
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:26:35
This page: