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Dark red velvet square tefillin pouch saved with a hidden Dutch Jewish infant

Object | Accession Number: 2002.140.12

Dark red tefillin storage bag used by Abraham Hartog Reiss in Amsterdam. The tefillin pouch and his other religious articles were hidden with his infant granddaughter Vera Reiss. Tefillin are small boxes containing prayers attached to leather straps and worn on the arm and the head by Orthodox Jewish males during morning prayers. Vera was born in March 1942 in German occupied Amsterdam. That summer, the Germans began mass deportations. In July, Vera’s father Salomon allowed himself to be arrested, to spare his wife Sophie and Vera from deportation. Sophie and Vera went into hiding with Sophie’s cousin Cato and then were hidden separately. Vera was taken in by Hermanus and Huberta Van Pelt in Baarn, clients of Abraham's textile business. Sophie assumed a false identity as a housekeeper. On May 5, 1945, the Netherlands was liberated and Vera was reunited with her mother. Abraham and his wife Vrouwtje were killed in Auschwitz on December 7, 1942. Vera’s father was killed in Auschwitz in February 1943. Most of Vera’s large extended family was murdered in the Holocaust.

use:  before 1942
use: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
use: Baarn (Netherlands)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Tefillin bags (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Vera Waivisz-Reiss
Record last modified: 2022-10-03 10:57:00
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