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Black and gray checked blanket given to Kindertransport refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2003.398.1

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    Brief Narrative
    Wool checked travel blanket given to 13 year old Mimi Alice Schleissner by her mother Berta to keep her warm when she left on the Kindertransport in May 1939. Mimi's parents Berta and Julius and her brother Edi, 18, stayed behind in Kolin, Czechoslovakia. Until October 1938, the family resided in the spa town Marienbad [now Marianske Lazne], in
    the Sudetenland region. It was annexed by Nazi Germany in October 1938 and most of the Jewish population fled. In November, the Marienbader Zeitung ran the headline "Marienbad is Jew-free." After arriving in Great Britain, Mimi joined Hachshara, a Zionist youth group which prepared members for life in Palestine. she hoped to leave in a few months, but Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, initiating World War II (1939-1945). Her family escaped to Palestine in December 1939.
    use:  1939
    received:  1939 May
    received: Marienbad (Czechoslovakia), historic; Marianske Lazne (Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mimi Alice Ormond
    Subject: Mimi A. Ormond
    Mimi Alice Schleissner was born on January 28, 1926 in Marienbad (Marianske Lazne) to Jewish parents Julius and Berta Kohn Schleissner. She had an older brother Edi. Her parents were merchants and the family had a comfortable life and a large house. The children attended local German Catholic school. Marienbad was in the Sudetenland which bordered Germany. On September 29-30, 1938, at a conference in Munich, to which Czechoslovakia was not invited, Britain, France, and Italy agreed to let Nazi Germany annex the region in exchange for a promise of peace from Hitler. The act was welcomed by the large ethnic German population and most of the Jewish population fled the region. On November 9-10, during Kristallnacht, the synagogue was destroyed. Not long after, the Marienbader Zeitung ran the headline that the town was free of Jews. Mimi’s family moved to a small room in a Christian home in Kolin nad Labem in nearby Bohemia. Mimi attended a Czech school; her brother was away at university. They began preparations to leave Czechoslovakia and obtained visas for different destinations. In March 1939, Germany invaded and annexed Bohemia and Moravia.

    In May 1939, Mimi was accepted on a Kindertransport, [Children's Transport], a rescue effort to bring Jewish children to safety. Her brother Edi, 18, was too old for the transport. Mimi joined a hachshara, Zionist youth group, which trained its members in agricultural techniques for preparation for settlement in Palestine. Her stay in England was supposed to be for just a few months, and then she would meet her parents in Palestine. But on September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland causing Great Britain and France to declare war. She could not leave the country. In December 1939, Mimi’s parents and brother illegally left German occupied Czechoslovakia and entered Palestine in January 1940.

    Mimi joined another hachshara in Great Engham Farm in Kent and later one in Landough Castle near Cardiff in North Wales. This group was bombed out and she then joined a group in Gwrych Castle. She eventually left the program and moved in with an uncle in London. She attended school and became a pre-school teacher. Mimi met a Jewish American soldier, Edward Ormond, a member of the 317th Army Band who also played at the town's Saturday night dances. The couple married on November 8, 1944. The war ended with Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945. Before leaving for the United States, Mimi visited her parents and brother in Palestine. She then sailed from Alexandria, Egypt on board the SS Thomas Barry to meet Ed in the US. Ed got a job with the St. Louis Symphony and then became assistant principal violist with the Cleveland Orchestra. Mimi taught preschool and ran the Carol Nursery School for nearly thirty years. They raised three daughters. Ed passed away in 2012 after 62 years of marriage. Mimi wrote a book about her experiences,” Kindertransport: A Rescued Child,” that was published in 2016.

    Physical Details

    Furnishings and Furniture
    Household linens
    Object Type
    Blankets (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Rectangular black and gray checked woven wool blanket with a band of light brown woven wool handstitched around the edges. A torn cloth tag inscribed with a name is sewn to the edging,
    overall: Height: 56.250 inches (142.875 cm) | Width: 49.750 inches (126.365 cm)
    overall : wool, thread
    bottom, tag, handwritten, black ink : [S?] SCHANZER

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The blanket was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Mimi Alice Schleissner Ormond.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-10-17 08:56:31
    This page:

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