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Upright, wardrobe-style trunk used by a Jewish family during their postwar emigration

Object | Accession Number: 2002.416.2 a-b

Domed, wardrobe-style trunk used by the Rubinzon (later Robinson) family for their voyage from Zeilsheim displaced persons camp in Germany to the United States in October 1948. The family bought the trunk, and two others, secondhand just prior to their journey. Efraim Rubinzon, was in Warsaw, Poland, with his recently widowed mother and brother when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Later that fall, Efraim escaped from German soldiers and made his way to Soviet-controlled territory. He agreed to work in a coal mine in exchange for official travel papers to get his mother and brother across the Soviet border, but they both perished before they could use them. Efraim used his agronomy training to secure work on collective farms throughout the western Soviet Union. During this time, he met recently widowed Sara Shpigel Ghingis on a farm near Tashkent (now Uzbekistan). Sara’s husband had been conscripted into the army and died fighting in Leningrad. She had given birth to her daughter, Fania (later Fay Shlimovitz) in July 1941, as she fled from the German invasion of Soviet-controlled territory in Bessarabia. In March 1944, Efraim and Sara married, and were still in Uzbekistan when the Soviets recaptured the region later that year. In November, they made their way to Romanovka in Bessarabia (now Basarabeasca, Moldova), where Henia (later Alice Lev) was born. Efraim worked in a dairy until August 1945, when he paid a farmer to smuggle the family into Soviet-controlled Romania. Jewish agents helped them continue their flight westward. That October, the Rubinzon family was sent to Zeilsheim. While at the camp, Efraim worked as a photographer, and Sara had Joseph in 1946.

emigration:  1948 October 21-1948 October 30
acquired: Zeilsheim (Displaced persons camp); Zeilsheim (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alice Robinson Lev
Record last modified: 2021-08-24 08:25:02
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