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Pair of toddler's well used black and white leather lace-up boots worn in Theresienstadt ghetto/labor camp

Object | Accession Number: 2002.447.1 a-b

Child's heavily used black patent and white leather ankle boots worn by 3 year old Judis Baehr while she was imprisoned in Theresienstadt ghetto/labor camp from 1943-1945. The already used boots were obtained by Elly Winterstein who adopted Judis at the camp. They were too big at first and had to be stuffed with newspaper and the heels and soles repaired with nails, but Judis wore them until after liberation. The boots are inscribed with the name Georg Weiss. A 7 year old child by that name arrived in the camp in 1942 and was deported to Auschwitz in October 1944. Judis was born in October 1940 to a Jewish mother who died six days after her birth in Berlin, Germany. Her mother's sister, Regina Heitmann, and her non-Jewish husband Hans took the infant into their home. The Nazi dictatorship had pursued punitive anti-Jewish policies since 1933 and, by 1942, it was too dangerous for Regina to keep the toddler. Judis was placed in hiding in a nursing home in Oranienburg. On May 28, 1943, Judis was transported to Theresienstadt in German occupied Czechoslovakia. When the prisoners disembarked at the train station, Judis was left behind. She was found under a blanket by Mr. Winterstein (Jermanov?), a prisoner who worked at the station. He took her to the camp and he and his wife Elly adopted her. In 1943 or 1944, her adoptive father was deported to Auschwitz and presumed murdered. Elly may have been deported as well, but some records place her at Terezin during liberation on May 5, 1945. As Judis remembers, she and Elly were separated in Theresienstadt but reunited in Prague after the war ended on May 7 and Elly returned from Poland. Judis's Aunt Regina wanted Judis returned to her in Berlin, but Elly refused and raised Judis as her own child.

Date
1943-1945  (use)
Geography
use : Theresienstadt (Concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
Language
German
Classification
Dress Accessories
Category
Footwear
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judis Urbanova
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:24:51
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn512987