Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Small wooden barrel with a door from the home where a Jewish child lived in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 2012.355.1

Small wooden barrel given to Alfred Munzer by the Madna family who gave him a safe hiding place in The Hague, Netherlands, from September 1942 - May 1945. The barrel was used as a liquor cabinet by Tole Madna, Alfred’s foster father. The Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany in May 1940. Alfred's father Simcha was ordered to report for labor service in May 1942. He managed to get himself committed to a psychiatric hospital to avoid deportation. His wife, Gisele, placed their two daughters, Eva, 6, and Liane, 3, in hiding with a Catholic family, the Jansens. In September 1942, nine month old Alfred was placed into hiding with Annie Madna, who lived across the street. After two months, Annie placed Alfred in the care of Tole, her ex-husband, who had custody of their three children. He was treated like a family member and cared for by Mima Saina, the family's housekeeper who was Indonesian, as was Tole. Gisele went into hiding as a nurse's assistant in the clinic where Simcha was a patient. That December, the Germans took over the clinic and Gisele and Simcha were arrested, put in forced labor service, and then deported to Auschwitz in June 1944. The couple keeping Alfred's sisters, Eva and Liane, had a fight and the husband reported his wife and the two girls to the SS. Eva and Liane were deported and killed on arrival in Auschwitz on February 11, 1944. Simcha was liberated in Ebensee in May 1945 but died there of tuberculosis in August. Gisele was liberated during a transport from Ravensbrueck when the train crossed into the Red Cross Zone on the Danish border managed by Count Folke Bernadotte in April 1945. She and Alfred were reunited in August. Alfred did not remember his mother and she stayed with the Madna family as they got reacquainted. In October, Gisele and Alfred moved to a nearby apartment. Mima was to have moved with them, but she died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Gisele worked as a seamstress and electrician and Alfred was enrolled in public and Hebrew school.

received:  2002
use:  1942-1945
use: Hague (Netherlands)
Object Type
Barrels (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alfred Munzer
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:08:52
This page: