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Plastic doll named Zsuzsi carried by a young Hungarian Jewish girl on the Kasztner train

Object | Accession Number: 2003.198.9

Celluloid Schildkrot doll named Zsuzsi carried by 7 year old Judit Gondos when she left Budapest with her parents Bela and Anna on the Kasztner train in June 1944. Judit received the doll from her parents for Chanukah in 1942. After arguments and many tears, she was allowed to take the doll on the train if she carried it herself. The doll’s dress was lost long ago. 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.

received:  1942 December
use:  1942-1946
received: Budapest (Hungary)
use: Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp); Belsen (Bergen, Celle, Germany)
Object Type
Dolls (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judith Gondos Jacobs
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 11:48:40
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