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Crocheted tablecloth pattern in 4 pieces saved by a German Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2004.524.15 a-d

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    Brief Narrative
    Tablecloth pattern separated into 4 sections that belonged to Peter Victor, who lived as a Jewish refugee from Berlin to Shanghai, China, from 1938-1947. The collection includes the pattern for the tablecloth: 2004.524.15, which was made in Berlin and brought by Peter or his parents to Shanghai. Peter, age 18, left Germany to escape the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazi-led government in 1938. His parents, Carl and Elsa, arrived in Shanghai in 1939. Carl died in 1940 and Elsa in 1942. Shanghai was liberated by the United States Army on September 3, 1945. With the aid of the American Joint Distribution Committee, Peter emigrated to America in December 1947.
    use:  after 1938
    use: Hongkou Qu (Shanghai, China)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of Peter M. Victor and in memory of Carl and Elsa Victor and Berta Neidermann Victor
    a. front, upper right, brown ink : Hakab – [Fielf -]
    b. front, upper right, brown ink : [H]äkelvorlage
    c. front, lower edge, brown ink : Nr. 8110 Decke , rund 110 cm = 143 ⃞. 13 ⃞ = 10 cm / Serie 4 [Number 8110 tablecloth, approximately 100 centimeters 110 cm = 143 ⃞. 13 ⃞ = 10 cm / Series 4]
    d. front, rectangle, lower edge, brown ink : Häkel – Material : / Hakabe – K. – Seiden Cordonnet ca. 350 gr. / Hakabe – Macco – Cordonnet Nr. 10 ca. 350 gr. / Regina Stahlhäkelnadel Nr. 5 [Crochet – Materials : / Hakabe – K. Silk cordonnet approximately 350 grams / Hakabe – Macco – Cordonnet Number 10 approximately 350 grams / Regina steel crochet hook size 5]
    d. front, below rectangle, lower edge, brown ink : Muster geschützt durch Kunst schulzgesetz § 2 / Kopieren wird strafrechtlich verfolgt. [Pattern protected by art education act § 2 / Copying will be prosecuted.]
    d. front, logo, lower right, brown ink : H. K. B.
    Subject: Peter M. Victor
    Peter Max Victor was born in Munich, Germany, on April 19, 1920, the only child of Carl Nathan and Elsa Alexander Victor. Carl was born in Gusten on May 1, 1879, to Louis (1832-1901) and Henrietta Pels Victor (1850-1940). Carl had a sister, Rebecca (1881-1970) who married a gentile, Gustav Adler (1882-1958), and had two sons. Elsa was born on December 25, 1888. Carl served in the Germany Army during World War I (1914-1918.) Carl was a poet and chemist and owner of a food dye and preservatives factory. Elsa worked with the business. In 1924, the family moved to Berlin. The family was well off and Jewish, but not especially observant. After the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship in Germany in 1933, anti-Jewish legislation and restrictions became increasingly harsh. Carl’s business was not restricted and it converted to produce war rations for the Army. After the Kristallnacht destruction of November 9-10, 1938, the family decided to leave Germany. They bought tickets for Shanghai, China, because it was an open port with no visa requirements.

    Peter left Germany on May 15, 1939, and arrived in Shanghai on June 14. Carl sold the family’s furniture and his factory. Jews could take almost no money out of Germany. Carl entrusted the sale proceeds to a friend who said he would transfer it to a bank in Shanghai, but never did. Carl and Elsa arrived in Shanghai in June 1939 on the Conte Rosso. They lived together in a small room, but life was difficult because they were penniless. Peter worked odd jobs in a hospital and community kitchen. Both of his parents contracted tropical diseases. Carl died, 61, of amoebic dysentery on November 29, 1940. Elsa developed diabetes because of the lack of adequate food and, at age, 54, passed away on May 9, 1942. Peter had to move to Hongkew ghetto in 1943 and got a job as a lifeguard at Hongkew Park, a country club for the elite of the Japanese occupation authorities.

    The war in Europe ended with Germany's surrender on May 7, 1945. Shanghai was liberated by the United States Army on September 3, 1945. Peter worked as a dispatcher and driver for the US Army Air Force motor pool. In December 1947, the American Joint Distribution Committee assisted Peter in emigrating to America on the USNS Marine Adder. His paternal aunt, Rebecca Adler, survived the war in Berlin; her husband, who was not Jewish, had been able to save her, but both their sons were killed by the Nazis. For two years, he lived in San Francisco. Peter married Berta Neidermann Spiner on April 25, 1951, in Chicago. Berta, born January 20, 1917, had arrived in the US in 1938, a refugee from Nazi ruled Vienna. Her parents, Joseph and Anna Scheier Neidermann, were murdered in Auschwitz. Peter and Berta settled in Washington DC. Peter owned a gift business. After his retirement, he volunteered at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Berta, 71, passed away on May 28, 1988. Peter, 73, died on May 7, 1993.

    Physical Details

    Decorative Arts
    Physical Description
    These component designations have been assigned for cataloging purposes.
    White paper tablecloth pattern sheet that has become detached along the fold lines into 4 rectangular sections. The oval shaped pattern is printed in brown ink. Inside the pattern is a graph with vertical lines to form the edge and center floral design. There are X’s and curved and dashed lines in blue ink and red, purple and gray pencil. 2004.524.13 a. is modeled on this pattern.
    a. Upper left quadrant of a pattern sheet. On the upper right is printed German text, partially covered by a corner fold. The upper left has a red pencil mark.
    b. Upper right quadrant of a pattern sheet. On the upper left is printed German text, partially covered by a corner fold.
    c. Lower left quadrant of a pattern sheet. On the lower center is printed measurement information in German. The reverse has a circular black stamp and a handwritten inscription in graphite.
    d. Lower right quadrant of a pattern sheet. On the lower center is a printed brown rectangle with material information in German; below is copyright information. On the lower left is an oval logo with an embroidery hoop, needle and thread.
    a: Height: 9.375 inches (23.813 cm) | Width: 12.500 inches (31.75 cm)
    b: Height: 9.375 inches (23.813 cm) | Width: 12.625 inches (32.068 cm)
    c: Height: 9.375 inches (23.813 cm) | Width: 12.625 inches (32.068 cm)
    d: Height: 9.375 inches (23.813 cm) | Width: 12.625 inches (32.068 cm)
    a : paper, ink, graphite
    b : paper, ink, graphite
    c : paper, ink, graphite
    d : paper, ink, graphite
    c. reverse, upper left, stamp edges, black ink : Landsberger * 77 Turmstrasse * 5
    c. reverse, upper left, stamp, center, black ink : BERLIN
    c. reverse, lower right, handwritten, pencil : V. 5V

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The tablecloth pattern was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Arleen Tievsky, executor of the Estate of Peter Victor.
    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:
    2022-07-28 18:28:44
    This page:

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