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Plastic identification badge holder used by a Hungarian Jewish emigre

Object | Accession Number: 2010.81.11

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    Plastic identification badge holder used by a Hungarian Jewish emigre


    Brief Narrative
    Cardboard and plastic wallet that belonged to Hungarian opera singer Gabor (Gabi) Carelli. Gabor was part of an Orthodox Jewish family from Budapest. He traveled to the United State in 1939, and toured with various opera companies. His family in Hungary was persecuted by the Fascist, antisemitic government from 1940-1944; some were sent to forced labor and concentration camps. In March 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary and members of his family were deported or went into hiding until Budapest was liberated by the Soviet Army in January 1945. His father was killed in a camp in 1944, but his mother, his sister, and her family came to the US in 1949.
    emigration:  1939 February 03
    use: Budapest (Hungary)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Peter Veres
    Original owner: Gabor Carelli
    Subject: Gabor Carelli
    Subject: Peter J. Veres
    Gabor (Gabi) Krausz was born on March 20, 1915, in Budapest, Hungary, to Jewish parents. His father, Bela Krausz, was a lawyer born on August 9, 1878, in Eger, Hungary, and his mother Lenke, was born in 1887, in Budapest. His sister Kati was born on April 16, 1911.

    In 1932, he studied singing at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music and graduated in September 1933. He wanted to study in Italy under classic opera singer Beniamino Gigli, but his father insisted he train in a traditional profession as well. Gabi chose law and was admitted to the Peter Pazmany University in Budapest. He took a specialized course that allowed him to study independently while in Italy. He returned to Budapest every 6 months for exams and received his law degree in January 1936.

    On November 1, 1938, he made his professional debut in La Boheme. He obtained a visiting artist’s visa and traveled to New York City with Gigli. They arrived on February 3, 1939; soon after, Gigli returned to Italy. When World War II broke out in Europe on September 1, 1939, the United States allowed visitors to stay and Gabi remained. He suffered a nervous breakdown and, due to the change in climate, lost his voice. Unable to sing, he took a job in a bookstore until his voice returned.

    Gabi toured the United States with various opera companies throughout the 1940s, performing under the stage name Gabor Carelli. In 1944, he returned to New York and joined the Salmaggi Opera Company. He made 2 trips back to Budapest in September 1947, and April 1948, to visit his family and perform with the Budapest Opera. On June 20, 1950, Gabi became a U.S. citizen and officially changed his name to Carelli. He joined the metropolitan Opera in 1951. In 1966, he joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music where he taught voice and ensemble. He returned to Budapest in the summers to teach at the Academy of Music and give radio lectures. He retired from singing in 1974.

    Bela died in an internment camp in 1944 at 66. Kati and Lenke emigrated to the United States in 1949. Lenke died in 1968 at 81, and Kati in 1994 at 83, both in New York City. Gabi continued to teach until his death on January 22, 1999, at 83.
    Peter Jaos Veres was born on October 23, 1938, in London. His father George, a businessman, was born on September 7, 1906, and his mother, Kati, was born on April 16, 1911, both in Budapest, Hungary. On March 13, 1938, Nazi Germany annexed Austria and news of Jewish persecution filtered into Hungary. Kati was pregnant at the time. George decided the baby would be born in England so he would have a British passport and not be identified as a Hungarian Jew. On August 24, Kati left for London; George arrived in October. After the child, Peter, was born, he was baptized as an Anglican and the family returned to Budapest on November 11.
    On March 19, 1944, German forces occupied Hungary and anti-Jewish decrees were put in place; Jews had to wear Star of David armbands, move into designated buildings, and deportations to concentration camps began. Since 1939, George had been in and out of forced labor camps and after the German invasion he was interred at a camp in Budapest. On May 3, 1944, apartments and houses belonging to Jews were registered and labeled with a yellow star. Peter, his mother, and grandmother Lenke moved in with his paternal grandparents on May 11. During bombing raids, the family would hide in the basement. His brother, Paul, was born on June 21, 1944, in Budapest. By June 23, all Jews had to move into yellow star buildings, one family per room. The Veres apartment was not in a yellow star building, and they had to move in with a family friend. Peter, being under six years old, was not required to wear a yellow star. Every morning he walked to the corner to buy milk for his baby brother, and his mother watched him from their apartment balcony to make sure he was safe.
    Peter, as a British national, was under the protection of the Swiss consulate. George arranged for Peter to live with two Swiss Catholic women, Elizabeth Baeriswyl and her niece, Mimi. Peter left his mother on October 16, 1944, and stayed with them for three months. During that time he posed as a relative, went to church, and attended Sunday school. His father would periodically escape from his labor camp and arrange to see Peter in a public place. They would not speak, just have visual contact. On November 3, 1944, Kati, Lenke, and Peter went into hiding; George escaped from the camp on December 12, 1944, and hid in a Swiss emergency hospital. On January 14, 1945, Pest was liberated by the Soviet army and Peter was reunited with his family.
    After liberation, the Veres family and Lenke decided to leave Hungary. In January 1949, they left Budapest for Milan, Italy. They sailed on the M/S Sobieski from Genoa, Italy, for the United States. Lenke stayed in Italy and sailed on a later date. On ship, Peter played shuffleboard and watched American movies. They arrived in New York City on March 29, 1949. They spent the night on Ellis Island and officially entered the U.S. on March 30. Due to the Displaced Persons Act passed on June 25, 1948, the family was able to obtain Permanent Residency Cards and remain in the U.S. Peter, as a British national, was considered an alien and did not fall under the protection of the Act. He had to go to Canada and reenter the U.S. under a different visa. On June 8, 1959, he became a U.S. citizen.
    He moved to California, married, and had 2 children. George died on February 1, 1967, at age 67, Lenke on December 2, 1968, at 81, and Kati on February 20, 1994, at 82, all in Manhattan.

    Physical Details

    Dress Accessories
    Object Type
    Wallets (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Rectangular light brown stiff cardboard pocket with clear plastic center inserts, a u-shaped depression at the open top, and metal edging on the sides and bottom.
    overall: Height: 3.750 inches (9.525 cm) | Width: 4.750 inches (12.065 cm) | Depth: 0.125 inches (0.318 cm)
    overall : plastic, cardboard, metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The plastic badge holder was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010 by Peter Veres.
    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:
    2023-06-13 16:10:40
    This page:

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