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Buchenwald Aussenkommando slave labor subcamp, scrip, 1 mark note

Object | Accession Number: 2005.517.42

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    Buchenwald Aussenkommando slave labor subcamp, scrip, 1 mark note


    Brief Narrative
    Buchenwald aussenkommando (outside unit) coupon with no overprint identifying the outside camp within the Buchenwald concentration camp system. Scrip was sometimes issued to forced laborers working in factories. Trudy (Gertrude) Blau may have been issued the scrip when she was imprisoned in Auschwitz and its various labor subcamps from 1944-1945. In 1942, Trudy and her family were deported by the Germans from Vienna, Austria, to the Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in Czechoslovakia. In 1944, Trudy volunteered to go to Auschwitz with some friends, and from there was sent to Kurzbach labor camp, where she worked digging ditches until she became ill with typhoid fever. In January 1945, the Germans decided to evacuate the camp because of advancing Soviet forces. While on a forced march, Trudy was liberated in Liegnitz, Germany, by the Soviets. She was reunited with her family in Theresienstadt in the spring of 1945. The family was transferred to the Deggendorf displaced persons camp in Germany where they lived until their emigration to the United States in 1948.
    use:  1944-1945
    use: Buchenwald (Concentration camp); Weimar (Thuringia, Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jeffrey A. Gordon
    front, upper left, black ink : [SS lightning bolts] -Standort-Kantine / Buchenwald
    front, diagonally in center, black ink : Außenkommando [Outside Command]
    front, right, black ink : WERTMARKE
    front, lower right, serial number, black ink : 95564 / ✽ / RM. .1 -
    Subject: Gertrude Gordon
    Gertrude Blau was born on March 14, 1925, in Vienna, Austria to Adolph Blau and Elsa Rosenthal. Her father, Adolph, was a decorated, disabled World War II veteran who was a licensed tobacco vendor. Her mother, Elsa, was a graduate of the Vienna Conservatory of Music. Her brother, Herbert, was born on July 28, 1931. They were an observant Jewish family and Gertrude was interested in Zionist youth activities. On March 12, 1938, German troops marched into Austria and annexed the country. Anti-Jewish legislation was soon enacted to strip Jews of their civil rights. The November 1938 Kristallnacht [Night of Broken Glass] pogrom was particularly brutal in Austria. Synagogues were destroyed, Jewish businesses were vandalized, and thousands of Jews were deported to concentration camps.

    By 1939, Gertrude and the other Jewish children were no longer allowed to attend school. For a while, they met secretly in the cemetery or at the Jewish Federation Office to have classes in Jewish culture and general subjects taught by Jewish teachers who had been banned from teaching. In August 1942, Gertrude and her family, including her 72 year-old maternal grandmother, Fanny Rosenthal, were deported by the Germans to Theresienstadt concentration camp. The family was separated as men and women were housed in different barracks. Shortly after arriving, Gertrude contracted hepatitis. While in Theresienstadt, Gertrude continued to get religious instruction, in secret, with Rabbi Leo Baeck. Trude was head caretaker in the children's barracks where Ursula Lenneberg worked.Trude later got a job in the office because of her friendship with Sigi Kwasniewski, the head of the youth homes. In October 1944, Gertrude volunteered to go to Auschwitz with friends who were selected for transport. After three days, they were sent to Kurzbach labor camp, a subcamp of Gross Rosen, where they were put to work digging ditches for the defense of Germany. Gertrude contracted typhoid fever. Around January 1945, the Germans decided to evacuate the camp because of the encroaching Soviet Army and the inmates were forced on death marches. Gertrude was too sick to go very far, and begged to be left behind. Since Gertrude spoke French, she eventually was able to join a group of French prisoners-of-wars. After 2 weeks, they were liberated by the Soviets in Liegnitz, Germany.

    After a few months, when the war was over, Gertrude was allowed to go to Czechoslovakia, first Prague and then Theresienstadt, to search for her family. She found them in Theresienstadt where they all had survived. The family was sent to the Deggendorf displaced persons camp in Germany to await immigration to the United States. In 1946, Gertrude was sent to Italy by a Zionist group that helped smuggle people into Palestine. While travelling through Italy she met Abraham Gordon who would become her husband. Soon after this, she learned that her group was a decoy, and that they would not be going to Palestine. She and Abraham decided to return to their families and try to emigrate to the United States. In November 1947, with the assistance of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Gertrude and her family were permitted to go to the United States. She and Abraham reunited in the United States and married on August 22, 1948. They settled in Vineland, New Jersey, and had one son. Adolph died in 1958 and Elsa died in 1987. Gertrude was the 47,000th person to immigrate to the US after the war. She worked to raise money to bring more displaced Jews to the country and remained active in Holocaust remembrance education all her life. Gertrude passed away, age 84, on March 30, 2009.

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Object Type
    Scrip (aat)
    Physical Description
    Rectangular, offwhite paper coupon with a light blue floral patterned rectangle with scalloped edges printed on the front with a narrow unprinted border around the edge of the coupon. There is German text in the top left corner and diagonally across the center. The denomination 1.- is in the lower right hand corner and the serial number is on the lower left. The back is blank.
    overall: Height: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm) | Width: 4.120 inches (10.465 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The scrip was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Jeffrey A. Gordon, the son of Gertrude Blau Gordon.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:28:58
    This page:

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