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Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp ration coupon issued to an Austrian Jewish prisoner

Object | Accession Number: 2005.517.62

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    Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp ration coupon issued to an Austrian Jewish prisoner

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Ration coupon used by Adolph Blau and his family when they were imprisoned in the Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp. All currency was confiscated upon entry and replaced with scrip and ration coupons that could be exchanged only in the camp. Adolph, his wife, two children, and mother-in-law were deported from Vienna, Austria, in 1942. They lived in the camp until the International Red Cross took over administration of the camp from the Germans on May 2, 1945. The family then was transferred to the Deggendorf displaced persons camp in Germany where they lived until their immigration to the United States in 1948.
    Date
    use:  1942-1945
    Geography
    issue: Theresienstadt (concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jeffrey A. Gordon
    Markings
    front, top left corner, printed in green ink : Verpfl. Eint.
    front, top right corner, printed in green ink and stamped in dark blue : Monat / APRIL [Month / APRIL]
    front, center, oversized stamped across coupon in blue ink : 4459
    front, center, printed in green ink and stamped in black : 1663 Schwerarbeiter Zusatzkarte [Hard worker add on card]
    front, bottom left corner, printed in green ink : I / XXXI
    Contributor
    Subject: Adolph Blau
    Biography
    Adolph Blau was born in Vienna, Austria. During World War I (1914-1918), he served in the Austrian-Hungarian Army and was awarded the Iron Cross and the Silver Medal of Bravery. After the war, he received a license from the Austrian Government to sell tobacco, a trade reserved for veterans. In 1924, Adolph married Elsa Rosenthal at the Turkish Temple, a Sephardic synagogue. They were observant Jews and had two children, Gertrude, born March 14, 1925, and Herbert, born July 28, 1931.

    On March 12, 1938, German troops marched into Austria and annexed the country. Anti-Jewish legislation was soon enacted to exclude Jews from Austrian society. The November 1938 Kristallnacht [Night of Broken Glass] pogrom was particularly brutal in Austria. Thousands of Jews were arrested and deported to concentration camps. Adolph's status as a decorated, disabled war veteran gave the family some preotection and, with the help of friends, he was able to maintain his tobacco trade a while longer. In August 1942, the family, which included his mother-in-law, Fanny Rosenthal, was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, avoiding Auschwitz possibly because of his veteran's status. The family was separated, as men and women were housed in different barracks. Elsa served as forced labor in a Messerschmitt airplane factory. Some elements of family life were maintained, as Herbert was Bar Mitzahed by Rabbi Leo Baeck in 1944. Soon afterwards, however, Gertrude was deported to Auschwitz.

    On May 2, 1945, the Germans transferred administration of the camp to the International Red Cross. Gertrude had located and rejoined them around this time. The family was sent to Deggendorf displaced persons camp in Germany, where Adolph served on the Jewish Committee and as a director of the ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training) vocational school. In November 1947, with the assistance of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Adolph and his family were permitted to immigrate to the United States. They eventually settled in Vineland, New Jersey, where Adolph died in 1958.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Exchange Media
    Category
    Coupons
    Object Type
    Ration cards (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Irregularly cut, rectangular, yellowed light brown paper coupon. The front has preprinted graphics with German text in green ink. There are entry boxes and lines that are not filled in. In the upper left corner is a stamped image of a fish in dark blue ink; on the upper right is a month stamp; in the center, superimposed, is a number stamp. The bottom 2 boxes with printed Roman numerals and coupons have been clipped off the lower right portion. The reverse is blank.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 2.500 inches (6.35 cm) | Width: 4.125 inches (10.478 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The ration coupon 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 18:28:59
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn517885

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