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Very large Henckels fabric shears from the family capmaking business brought to the US by a Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2004.704.5

Very large Henckels brand fabric scissors with a 7 inch blade brought with David Mentkewicz, when he, his wife Regina, and their sons, 7 year old Edgar and 4 year old Robert, left Nazi ruled Vienna, Austria, for the United States in September 1938. The scissors were used in the family capmaking business operated out of their home. David had helped his parents, Salomon and Frieda, with the work as soon as he was old enough. When he married, his wife Regina also worked making caps. At one point, they made wool caps for the military. But by the 1930s it was a piecework business, and did not bring in enough income to support the family. On March 13,1938, Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany. Anti-Jewish policies were enacted stripping Jews of their rights. The family capmaking business declined and they barely made enough to buy food. Regina was able to obtain visas and permissions to leave with the help of her family in the US. Salomon and his wife Frieda were too elderly to leave. David and his family left in September 1938, and eventually settled in New York. Many years later, they learned that soon after their departure, Salomon was hospitalized until his death in early 1939. Frieda was deported by the Germans to Łódź Ghetto in Poland in 1941 or 1942, and transported to Chelmno killing center in 1942.

creation:  after 1900-before 1938
use: Vienna (Austria)
Tools and Equipment
Cutting tools
Object Type
Scissors (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Robert Mentken
Record last modified: 2022-09-06 13:33:08
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