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Embroidered floral smock worn by a Jewish girl in prewar Poland

Object | Accession Number: 2003.193.2

Colorful, embroidered peasant blouse given to Chana Minuskin (later Helen Matlow) by her maternal aunt in Zdzieciol, Poland (Dziatlava, Belarus), in 1935. Chana, wearing the blouse, is pictured in a photograph with her aunt, her cousin and her mother, Dwora (2003.193.1), taken in their hometown in 1935. In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland and gave the Soviet Union the eastern half, where Chana, her parents, Aaron and Dwora, her brother, Moshe, and their extended family lived in Zdzieciol. In summer 1941, Germany invaded eastern Poland. In December, Chana’s brother, Moshe, was sent to work in a forced labor camp in Dworzec (Dvarėts (Hrodzenskaia voblasts', Belarus).) In February 1942, German authorities in Zdzieciol ordered all Jews to move into a partially enclosed ghetto. Chana’s father was killed by the authorities, likely during a selection. In August, Chana and her mother, Dwora, were sent to Dworzec, as forced laborers. In December, Chana, Dwora, and Moshe escaped and hid in the nearby Lipichanski forest, which served as a base of operations for several groups of Jewish partisans. In August 1944, Chana, Dwora, and Moshe returned to Zdzieciol after being liberated by the Soviet Army. Dwora married Hersh Haidukowski, a survivor from Zdzieciol, and in 1945, Chana married Josef Matlowsky (later Joseph Matlow), a survivor from Lida, Poland (Belarus). In January 1948, Chana and Josef’s daughter, Fruma (later Fran Matlow), was born at Eggenfelden displaced persons camp. In 1949, the family immigrated to the United States. Helen’s maternal grandparents, aunt, and cousin are presumed to have perished during the Holocaust.

received:  1935
received: Dziatlava (Belarus)
Clothing and Dress
Women's clothing
Object Type
Blouses (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Helen and Joseph Matlow
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:28:30
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