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FK monogrammed leather document case made by a Jewish Hungarian woman

Object | Accession Number: 2003.198.2

Leather document case with wallet pockets made by Anna Gondos in the early 1940’s when she had to support herself and her daughter Judit, age 7, while her husband Bela was away in the Hungarian forced labor service. She carried it when she was deported from Budapest to Bergen-Belsen on the Kasztner train with Bela and Judit in June 1944. The FK monogram suggests that the wallet was made for someone but was never purchased. Jews were increasingly persecuted by the Nazi-influenced Hungarian regime. Bela worked in 2 or 3 forced labor battalions until released in 1942 because he was a physician. On March 19, 1944, Germany invaded Hungary and the authorities prepared to deport all the Jews from Hungary to concentration camps. In mid-May, Bela heard about the Kasztner train, negotiated by Rezso Kasztner of the Zionist Relief and Rescue Committee to get the German SS to take money to release Jews to neutral territory. Bela and his family were selected because of Bela’s Zionist ties. Kasztner failed to raise sufficient funds and the train was sent to Bergen-Belsen, arriving on July 8. After ransom money was raised by Jewish aid organizations, the prisoners were sent to Switzerland on December 7, 1944. Bela, Anna, and Judit emigrated to the United States in 1946.

creation:  approximately 1942-1944 May
creation: Budapest (Hungary)
use: Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp); Belsen (Bergen, Celle, Germany)
Dress Accessories
Object Type
Wallets (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judith Gondos Jacobs
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:16:46
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