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Toddler's red and blue striped rompers worn by Alain Markon in Vichy France

Object | Accession Number: 1998.41.2

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    Toddler's red and blue striped rompers worn by Alain Markon in Vichy France

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    Brief Narrative
    Red and blue striped rompers worn by toddler Alain Markon while living under the Vichy regime in France with his parents, Alexander and Raya, in 1941 and 1942. Alain's parents were immigrants from Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania), who had married in Paris in 1937. When Germany invaded France in May 1940, his mother fled Paris for Toulouse. She was joined by his father after his discharge from the French Army following the June surrender of France. The couple applied for US visas. and, while they were waiting to receive them, Alain was born in June 1941. They received their visas in 1942, and made their way to Portugal. They sailed from Lisbon in October 1942, and arrived in the United States in November.
    use:  after 1941 June-1942
    emigration:  1942 October
    received: Toulouse (France)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Genya Markon, In Memory of Alain Markon and of our father Alexander Markon and in Honor of our mother Raya Magid Markon
    Subject: Alain Markon
    Alain Markon (1941-1998) was born in Toulouse, France, to Jewish parents, Alexander and Raya Magid Markon. Raya (1910-2005) was born to Abram and Genya Settel Magid in Vilna (now Vilnius), Lithuania, and had a sister, Katia (1905-1965). Alexander (Oswiez/Sasha, 1905-1989) was also born in Vilna, and immigrated to France in the 1920s. Alain’s parents met when Alexander was visiting his family in Vilna. After corresponding, the couple married in France on February 11, 1937, and settled in Paris.

    On September 1,1939, Germany invaded Poland. Alain’s father, Alexander, was recalled to the French military. He was sent to the 55th Regiment of the artillery and stationed on the Maginot Line, a series of fortifications along the French-German border. Germany invaded France in May 1940, and in June, France surrendered. Alexander was demobilized and went south in the hopes of finding Raya, who had fled to Toulouse during the exodus from Paris ( L’Exode). He eventually found her by accident in a train station.

    The Markon family wished to immigrate to the United States, and applied for immigration visas. Alain’s mother’s first cousin, Lillian Epstein, lived in the US, and was married to a psychiatrist, Joseph Epstein. Joseph had connections in the US State Department and pleaded their case, eventually helping them to obtain an affidavit to enter the US in 1941. Despite this, they did not receive visas until 1942. With the sponsorship of the American Jewish Joint, Alain’s parents obtained passage to America aboard a Portuguese ship, the SS Carvalho Araujo. The family sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, on October 20, 1942, and arrived in Baltimore, MD, on November 2. From there, they took a train to New York City. The Markon family was still there when Alain’s younger sister, Genya (b.1943), was born two months later.

    Alain’s maternal grandmother, Genya, died of natural causes in the spring of 1941. Abram, Alain’s maternal grandfather, was executed that summer by German forces in Ponary, just outside Vilna. Alain’s maternal aunt, Katia Magid (1905-1965), was confined in the Vilna ghetto following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Katia survived being imprisoned in both Kaiserwald and Stutthof concentration camps, and immigrated to the US in 1947.

    Physical Details

    Clothing and Dress
    Physical Description
    Infant’s rompers made from white rayon with blue and red diagonal stripes with 2 approximately 6 inch straps attached at the waistband. The straps go over the chest and shoulders, cross down the back, and are brought together in a V-shaped and sewn to an insert attached to the back waist. There is a white plastic button on the front interior of each side of the waist. The center seams are matched where the stripes meet. The leg holes are gathered with metal snaps on each side of the crotch which has been sewn closed. It may originally have been left open for diaper changing access. There are repairs in brown and white thread.
    overall: Height: 11.125 inches (28.258 cm) | Width: 13.500 inches (34.29 cm)
    overall : rayon, plastic

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The rompers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1998 by Genya Markon, the sister of Alain Markon.
    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:
    2022-12-16 13:03:28
    This page:

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