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Peach chemise with floral embroidery saved by a Hungarian Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2003.198.4

Embroidered silk chemise custom made for Anna Havas for her 1934 wedding to Bela Gondos. She took it with her when she was deported from Budapest, Hungary, to Bergen-Belsen on the Kasztner train with Bela and their 7 year old daughter Judit in June 1944. The family brought their best clothing since they believed they were going to Portugal. Jews were increasingly persecuted by the Nazi-influenced Hungarian regime. Bela worked on 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 Relief and Rescue Committee, Hungarian Zionist Association, 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.

Date
1934  (received)
1934-1946  (use)
Geography
use : Budapest (Hungary)
use : Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp); Belsen (Bergen, Celle, Germany)
Classification
Clothing and Dress
Category
Women's clothing
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judith Gondos Jacobs
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:26:05
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn513770