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Wool blanket found by a Jewish Latvian concentration camp prisoner after escaping a death march

Object | Accession Number: 2003.174.1

One of two wool blankets found by Ber (later Beryl) Miklin, and used during and after a death march from Stutthof concentration camp in January 1945. Originally green, Ber dyed this blanket blue and used the other to make a pair of pants. Ber, his wife, parents, two sisters, and two brothers were forced into the Riga ghetto in Latvia in September 1941 by the German occupying forces. Ber’s mother and wife died, and his youngest brother fled to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Ber and his elder brother were transported to the Riga-Kaiserwald concentration camp in August 1943, and were assigned to forced labor. Ber’s father, sisters, and his sisters’ families were also sent to Kaiserwald, but later killed. The camp was evacuated in the summer of 1944, and most of the prisoners were deported to Stutthof concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. Ber and his brother David were in Stutthof for about six months, and David likely died during this time. On January 25, 1945, the SS began evacuating Stutthof, and Ber was among the prisoners sent on a death march. Ber escaped the march, and hid in the nearby forest. He travelled to Poznań, where local farmers allowed him to work in exchange for food. After the war, Ber moved multiple times before landing in the displaced persons (DP) camps near Munich. In the Neu Freimann DP camp, Ber met and married fellow-survivor Mirka (later Marian) Kestenberg. They had their first son in 1947, and immigrated to the United States in the fall of 1949. After a year in El Paso, Texas, the family relocated to Denver, Colorado, and had two more children.

Date
found:  approximately 1945
Geography
found: Poland
Classification
Furnishings and Furniture
Category
Household linens
Object Type
Blankets (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Blankets.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marian Miklin
 
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:25:12
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn513162