Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Green velvet Torah mantle with 10 Commandments found by a US soldier

Object | Accession Number: 1989.291.1

Damaged green velvet Torah mantle found by Herman Schwartz, an American soldier, in the debris of a synagogue in Saverne, [Sabern or in German, Zabern or Schwenheim] France, desecrated by German forces at the beginning of the German occupation, June 1940-November 1944. He cut the mantle out of a pile of rubble with his bayonet. It has an applique of the 10 Commandment tablets with elaborate gold metal thread embroidery, a gift of the Women's Society in 1905. Jews had lived in the town since the 14th century. German troops destroyed the upper level of the synagogue, built in 1898-1900, to remove all traces of its Jewish origins. The NS Fliegerkorps, a flying corps, used the building as a training center. The Germans expelled the Jews to make the town Judenfrei [free of Jews.] Herman found the mantle as his battalion moved across the Alsace-Lorraine region of France and into Germany in late 1944 - early 1945. The synagogue was restored by the small Jewish community after the war.

creation:  1905
found:  approximately 1944 November-approximately 1945 January
found: desecrated synagogue; Saverne (France)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Torah mantles (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Herman Schwartz
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:19:38
This page: