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Black and white striped wool tallit katan found postwar by a Polish Jewish man

Object | Accession Number: 2003.163.1

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    Black and white striped wool tallit katan found postwar by a Polish Jewish man


    Brief Narrative
    Tallit katan made from a torn tallit found by Chaim Bornstein in a burned out home near Druja, Poland (Druia, Belarus), circa spring 1945, at the end of World War II. Chaim took the tallit, a prayer shawl, and kept it with him while he was in various displaced persons camps where he married and had a child. After the family emigrated to the United States in 1948, Chaim's wife took the damaged tallit and altered it to make a tallit katan, a smaller tallit that is worn at all times by Orthodox men under their clothes.
    found:  approximately 1945 May
    found: Druja, Poland (historic); Druia (Belarus)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Samuel D. Bornstein
    Subject: Chaim Bornstein
    Chaim Bornstein was born on October 10, 1911, near Krakow, Poland. His family later moved to Druja (Belarus). Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and soon forced the Jews of Druja into a ghetto. Chaim, a skilled watchmaker, repaired watches for the SS authorities. When the ghetto was liquidated in 1943, Chaim escaped to a nearby forest. A Polish family allowed him to stay in their barn for 10 months, but when the situation became too dangerous, Chaim fled. He eventually joined group of Polish partisans and stayed with them until the end of the war in May 1945. After spending time in displaced persons camps, Chaim married and emigrated to the United States in 1948.

    Physical Details

    Jewish Art and Symbolism
    Physical Description
    Discolored offwhite woven wool tallit katan, an upper body garment made from 2 panels of cloth connected by offwhite shoulder straps, worn under one's clothes. There are 21 vertical black and white textured stripes of varying sizes and patterns on each panel. Four tzitzit, or tassels, made from knotted thread are inserted through each corner which has white cloth squares, now stained, reinforcing the back. One panel has a shiny white cloth band sewn to the inner top edge. The panel and straps have hand sewn hems.
    overall: Height: 31.875 inches (80.963 cm) | Width: 10.375 inches (26.353 cm)
    overall : wool, cloth, thread

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The tallit katan was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Chaim Bornstein in 2003.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-08-08 15:27:56
    This page:

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