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Coat design, Iris, created by a German Jewish man and saved by his wife in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 2002.474.4

Original design for a coat created by Julius Isaacsohn, a Jewish designer with his own garment making business in prewar Berlin, Germany. In 1938, Julius and his wife Gertrud, a dressmaker with her own business, had lost their livelihood because of the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazi regime. They sent their daughter Dorit, age 6, to Brussels, Belgium, in early 1939, to stay with Gertrud’s sister Anna Kaufman. Germany invaded Belgium in May 1940, and Gertrud and Julius had Dorit returned to them in 1941. Gertrud and Julius became forced laborers for the German government, working in a leather factory and lumber yard respectively. On February 27, 1943, the family had to separate in order to go into hiding. Julius and Dorit stayed with family friends and Julius’ nephew, Rolf Isaacsohn, in Berlin, while Gertrud began working as a travelling seamstress. In October 1943, Gertrud brought Dorit to live with her on a farm in Wilkersdorf. Shortly after, Julius, who was hiding with friends, was betrayed to the authorities by Rolf. On October 29, Julius was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland, where he was killed. Gertrud and Dorit traveled around eastern Germany making dresses for private clients until January 1945, when they were liberated by Soviet forces in Wilkersdorf. Gertrud and Dorit immigrated to the United States in November 1949.

Alternate Title
Iris
Date
1930-1943  (creation)
Geography
creation : Berlin (Germany)
Classification
Art
Category
Drawings
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Dorit Isaacsohn
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Record last modified: 2018-04-17 08:56:54
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn513363