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Reproduction of a spoon and box smuggled out of Warsaw ghetto with an infant

Object | Accession Number: 2003.88.1 a-b

Reproduction of a silver spoon smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto with 5 month old Elżbieta Kopel (later Ficowska) in a wooden box hidden under bricks piled in a wagon in May 1942. It was given to her by her Jewish parents, Izrael and Henia Rochman Kopel, and is engraved with her nickname, Elżunia, and her birthdate, January 5, 1942. The spoon and case were presented to the Museum on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Zegota's formation because Elżbieta's escape from the ghetto was handled by Irena Sendlerowa and members of that underground organization, which assisted Jewish people in German occupied Poland. Elżbieta was temporarily housed with Stanislawa Bussoldowa, a Zegota collaborator and Polish midwife that helped deliver Jewish babies to women in hiding and in the ghetto. Stanislawa was supposed to place Elżbieta with another woman, but when she discovered the woman had tuberculosis, she decided to raise Elżbieta herself. She hired a nanny and sent the two of them to live in the nearby town of Michalin in order to avoid attracting attention from her neighbors. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. Elżbieta’s parents never came to claim her, and Stanislawa raised her as her own daughter. In order to protect her, Stanislawa did not tell Elżbieta about her past until, at 17, Elżbieta began asking questions. After many years of research, Elżbieta learned that her father, Izrael, was shot on the boarding platform in the Umschlagplatz of the Warsaw ghetto in mid-1942, and that her mother, Henia, was executed at Poniatowa labor camp on November 4, 1943.

Date
2002  (creation)
1942 January 05  (commemoration)
Geography
creation : Poland
Language
Polish
Classification
Household Utensils
Category
Flatware
Object Type
Baby spoons (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Elżbieta Ficowska
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:07:18
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn512972