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Matchbook cover with a printed appeal to not buy Nazi goods

Object | Accession Number: 2013.148.1

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    Brief Narrative
    American matchbook acquired by Max Beer, who arrived in Canada in 1949 following his birth in a displaced persons camp in Germany. The matchbook was produced by the Jewish War Veterans of the United States as part of a 1933 boycott of German imports and has the slogan “For Humanity’s Sake: Don’t Buy Nazi Goods.” In spring 1941, Max’s father, Leo Beer, escaped from the Krakow ghetto in Poland, and joined the Soviet Army. In March 1942, Max’s mother, Gitla Paris Einzenberg (later Beer), was transported from the Radom ghetto in Poland, to a forced labor camp in Poland, and then deported to another in Germany where she was imprisoned at Buchenwald concentration camp. Max’s parents met in Poland after the war, but had to leave because of anti-Semitism. They traveled to Pocking displaced persons camp in Germany. On May 18, 1947, their son Max was born in the camp. In 1949, the family immigrated to Montreal, Canada.
    manufacture:  approximately 1933
    manufacture: United States
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Max Beer
    front, center, above seal, printed, blue ink : FOR / HUMANITY’S SAKE
    front, center, below seal, printed, blue ink : DON’T BUY / NAZI GOODS
    front, bottom, printed, blue ink : SAFETY FIRST - CLOSE COVER
    spine, center, printed, blue ink : JEWISH WAR / VETERANS OF U.S.
    back, center above seal, printed, blue ink : FOR / HUMANITY’S SAKE
    back, center, below seal, printed, blue ink : DON’T BUY / NAZI GOODS
    spine, center, printed, blue ink : JEWISH WAR / VETERANS OF U.S.
    Interior, printed, bold font, black ink : JEWISH WAR / VETERANS OF THE / UNITED STATES / 276 5th Ave. N. Y., N. Y. / Posts Throughout / United States
    Subject: Max Beer
    Max Beer was born on May 18, 1947, in Pocking, Germany, to Leib (Leo) and Gitla (later Genia) Paris Einzenberg Beer. Leo was born on August 1, 1909, in Uhnow, Poland (Uhniv, Ukraine), to Szulem and Gizela Thumin Beer. Leo had two brothers. Their parents got divorced, and in March 1929, Szulem immigrated to Canada. Leo worked as a carpenter and lived in Krakow, Poland. Genia was born on July 5, 1916, in Radom, Poland, to Chaim Mordechai and Ruchla Rent Paris. Gitla had two sisters, Freindel and Devora, and five younger brothers. She married Israel Einzenberg and they had a son. In the late 1930’s, Freindel was sent to Palestine, but the rest of the family stayed in Radom.
    On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland and occupied Krakow and Radom. Jewish people in both cities were severely restricted by anti-Semitic policies put in place by German authorities. By April 1941, German forces had created closed ghettos for the Jewish population in both cities. In July, Leo escaped from the Krakow ghetto and made his way to the Soviet Union, where he joined the army. In March 1942, Gitla was transported from the Radom ghetto to Skarzysko - Kammienna forced labor camp in Poland. In June 1944, she was deported to a forced labor camp run by the Hugo Schneider Aktiengesellschaft Metalwarenfabrik (HASAG) in Leipzig, Germany. In August, Gitla was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp and was assigned prisoner number 636.
    Leo was injured during a German attack on Soviet forces. He lost the use of his left arm and was transferred to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. On April 11, 1945, Buchenwald was liberated by the US Army. On May 7, Germany surrendered. Leo and Gitla met in Poland when they returned there after the war, but had to flee due to anti-Semitism and violent pogroms. By fall 1946, Leo and Gitla were at Poking displaced persons camp in the US zone southern Germany. They learned that all of their family members still in Poland had been murdered during the Holocaust. The couple got married at the camp, where their son Max was born. In 1949, Max’s grandfather, Szulem Beer, and Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) helped Leo, Genia, and Max immigrate to Canada, where the family settled in Montreal.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Matchbooks (aat)
    Physical Description
    Small, rectangular, light brown cardboard matchbook folder that has been flattened and the matches removed. It has a striker flap at the bottom of the back side. It forms a matchbook cover when folded along three horizontal score lines, which divide it into four rectangular panels; a front cover, spine, back cover, and a slightly worn striker flap that folds up and is stapled to the bottom end. The offwhite exterior is printed with 2 seals with an open winged eagle, 6 pointed Star of David, and a laurel wreath. English slogans are printed on both covers, the spine and the interior. It has 2 staple holes in the center of the striker flap and back side.
    overall: Height: 4.500 inches (11.43 cm) | Width: 1.500 inches (3.81 cm)
    overall : cardboard, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The matchbook was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by Max Beer.
    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:
    2022-08-15 10:28:53
    This page:

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