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Wooden box with inlaid initials used by a Polish Jew in hiding in the Boryslaw ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 2004.706.8

Handmade wooden box used by Zbyszek Kelhoffer to store personal items in the Jewish ghetto in Boryslaw, Poland (Boryslav, Ukraine), 1941-1945. The box had belonged to his grandfather, Maurycy, a surgeon, who used it to store his surgical instruments. From 1941-1943, Zbyszek was a forced laborer in the Beskiden Oil factory camp in German occupied Boryslaw, Poland (Boryslav, Ukraine). When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Zbyszek was mobilized into the Polish Army. After a brief campaign, he returned to Soviet occupied Boryslaw. In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union and Zbyszek was drafted into the Soviet Army. He was captured by the Germans, escaped, and returned home. On July 1, German troops occupied Boryslaw. There was a succession of joint German SS and Ukrainian pogroms killing hundreds of Jews. Zbyszek's wife Sydzia and her mother went into hiding. After Belzec killing center opened in March 1942, 1000s of Boryslaw Jews were deported there. By October 1942, Zbyszek, his parents, and two sisters-in-law were confined in the ghetto. Zbyszek was allowed to leave for work and his worker status probably delayed deportation selection. The ghetto was raided often and many were shot during round-ups. By February 1943, Zbyszek had to move to the slave labor camp. SS and Ukrainian troops moved into the ghetto to eliminate the remaining Jews. His parents were shot. Sydzia and her mother joined her two sisters in hiding in June 1943. Zbyszek joined them in December. The Soviet Army liberated Boryslaw on August 8, 1944. Zbyszek and his family were among only 200 surviving Jews from a population of 12,000. After the war ended in May 1945, Boryslaw was Soviet territory, so they left for Poland.

use:  1942-1945
use: Boryslav (Ukraine)
Object Type
Wooden boxes (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Barbara Kelhoffer Bieganiec
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:52:59
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