Leather wallet with embossed images of Egyptian pharaohs acquired by a Jewish medical officer, 2nd Polish Corps
Carried dress accessories
- Object Type
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Elizabeth Lusthaus Strassburger
Decorative brown leather wallet purchased by Dr. Edmund Lusthaus in Egypt circa 1943 where he was stationed with the 2nd Polish Corps, British Army, as a medical officer. When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Lusthaus was drafted into the Polish Army. Seventeen days later, the Soviet army invaded from the east. Lusthaus was captured and taken to a camp for Polish prisoners of war in Novosibirsk, Siberia, where he served as a physician. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the Soviet government released the Polish POWs to join the fighting. Lusthaus joined the volunteer Polish Army of the East, known as Anders Army, formed by General Anders with through an agreement with Stalin. In August 1942, the unit left Soviet territory and became the 2nd Polish Corps, British Army. The unit trained in the Middle East and fought against German forces in Tobruk in North Africa. In February 1944, they deployed to join the British 8th Army in the Italian Campaign. The Corps fought its way north and was honored for bravery in the May 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino. The unit was in Italy on May 7, 1945, when the war ended. When Edmund learned that his wife Helena and 7 year old daughter Elzbieta had survived and were in a displaced persons camp in Germany, he arranged to have them brought to Italy in September 1945. Helena and Elzbieta had lived in hiding in Poland under false identities as Catholics. In December 1946, the family emigrated to England.
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:15:27
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