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Black flat top steamer trunk used by a Jewish Austrian refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2004.526.2

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    Black flat top steamer trunk used by a Jewish Austrian refugee


    Brief Narrative
    Trunk used by Ida Weiss during her journey from Austria to the United States in 1938. Ida was a Czech Jew who lived in Vienna with her daughter, Louisa. After Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in March 1938, Ida decided to leave the country for the United States. She sailed for New York City aboard a Norddeutscher Lloyd ship, the Columbus, which departed from Bremen, Germany, on September 15, 1938.
    emigration:  1938 September
    received: Bremen (Germany)
    en route: Columbus (Ship 1938); New York (N.Y.)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Anahid Iskian
    Subject: Ida B. Weiss
    Ida Bellak was born on Feburary 15, 1875, in Ostrava, Czech Republic, to Jewish parents, Adolf Bellak and Johanna Esiner. She married Salomon Weiss on Feburary 10, 1895. Salomon was born on June 22, 1854, in Vienna, Austria, to Bernhard Weiss and Rosalia Hecht. Ida and Salomon lived in Vienna and had a daughter, Louisa, on January 26, 1909. Salomon died on April 29, 1933. Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938 and anti-Jewish laws disenfranchised Jews who were no longer permitted to take part in many activities and professions. Ida was able to get a visa to leave Austria and to emigrate to the United States. She left for New York City aboard a Norddeutscher Lloyd ship, the Columbus, which departed from Bremen, Germany, on September 15, 1938. Louisa also settled in New York City. Ida passed away in New York City in 1962 at the age of 87.

    Physical Details

    English German
    Physical Description
    Rectangular, black vinyl covered fiberboard trunk with a reinforced wooden frame. It has rounded, black leather covered corners, a black leather handle, and 2 slide closure clasps on each side. Two hasp locks on the front insert into keyhole and lock plates. The lid opens upward at a narrow end and is cut diagonally left to right. Two butterfly hinges attach it to the base and there are interior sliding lid props. The interior is lined with brown canvas. The lid contains a clothes hanging system: 2 vertical rods on each side support 4 wooden slat hangers with horizontal straight and curved cross slats; 2 are missing the curved slat. A brown canvas curtain with 2 vertical brown leather straps and 2 horizontal leather belts attaches near the outer edge of the lid interior to enclose this space. The base has 2 brown leather belts to secure items. A small metal skeleton key hangs from a string on the clothes rod. Four rounded rivets on the underside act as feet. There are 2 stickers, a label, and a customs sticker with German and English text on the front side, 1 sticker on the left side, and 1 sticker on the right.
    overall: Height: 10.125 inches (25.718 cm) | Width: 17.375 inches (44.133 cm) | Depth: 39.375 inches (100.013 cm)
    overall : fiberboard, plastic, metal, cloth, leather, wood, paper, adhesive, ink
    exterior, right side, on circular blue and white sticker, block letters : NORDDEUTSCHER / LLOYD / BREMEN
    exterior, left side, partially covered sticker, blue ink : UNITED LIN[E]
    exterior, front, label, printed and handwritten in white and black ink on blue background : NORDDEUTSCHER LL[OYD] / ZIMMER-STATEROOM / Nordamerika (Ostkuste)-Ostasien-Verkehr / Name Ida Weiss [handwritten] / Dampfer / Steamer Columbus / Abfahrstsdatum Sailing date 15. IX. 1938 [handwritten] / Abtahrtshafen / Port of Departure Bremen [handwritten] / Bestimmungshafen / Port of Destination New York [handwritten] / Zimmer No. 635 [handwritten] / Room No. / Touristen-Klasse / Tourist Class
    exterior, front, sticker stamp on top of label above, black ink : customs service inspector stamp N-118795
    exterior, front, logo sticker, blue ink : NORDDEUTSCHER BREMEN / LLOYD / W
    exterior, left side, logo sticker with 3 red ships, black ink : Columbia, / Europa / Bremen / LLOYD

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The steamer trunk was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Anahid Iskian.
    Record last modified:
    2022-08-30 15:28:11
    This page:

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