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Pair of tefillin taken from a concentration camp by an inmate at liberation

Object | Accession Number: 2000.580.1 a-b

Set of tefillin rescued by Yaakov Apelovitch, a 15 year old Jewish inmate in Auschwitz concentration camp, after the Soviet Army liberated the camp in January 1945. Tefillin are small boxes containing prayers attached to leather straps and worn on the arm and the head by Orthodox Jewish males during morning prayers. Yaakov took the pair from the Canada warehouse where confiscated belongings were stored. The inmates called it Canada because they imagined that country as a place of great riches. He gave the tefillin to Rachel Kutner in 1945, who later gave them to Morris Rosen. Morris was interned in the Jewish ghetto in Dabrowa Gornicza after the September 1939 German occupation of Poland. From 1942-1944, he was transferred through a series of concentration and labor camps. In February 1945, Morris survived a death march from Kretschamberg labor camp to Buchenwald in Germany, and one in April to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia. He was liberated by the Soviet Army in May 1945. Morris emigrated from the New Palestine displaced persons camp in Salzburg, Austria, to the United States in 1949.

found:  1945 January
found: Auschwitz (Concentration camp); Oświęcim (Poland)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Tefillin (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Morris Rosen
Record last modified: 2021-08-02 11:13:13
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