Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Red and yellow floral handkerchief carried by a young Hungarian Jewish girl on the Kasztner train

Object | Accession Number: 2003.198.10

Floral handkerchief carried by 7 year old Judit Gondos when she left Budapest, Hungary, with her parents Bela and Anna on the Kasztner train in June 1944. It was a gift from her maternal aunt, Iren (Pircsi) Havas, in prewar Bekes. 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. Judit’s aunt Pircsi survived Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen but died of tuberculosis in Sweden in 1945. Bela, Anna, and Judit emigrated to the United States in 1946.

received:  approximately 1942
use:  approximately 1942-1946
received: Bekes (Hungary)
use: Budapest (Hungary)
use: Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp); Belsen (Bergen, Celle, Germany)
Dress Accessories
Object Type
Handkerchiefs (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judith Gondos Jacobs
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:16:48
This page: