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

Object | Accession Number: 2005.517.64

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


    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.
    use:  1942-1945
    issue: Theresienstadt (concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jeffrey A. Gordon
    front, left side, inside box printed in brown ink handwritten in light blue ink : BL / H E VII / Zr 60
    front, top, center, printed in brown ink and stamped in black : ESSENKARTE / No 472896 / für [FOODCARD /No 472896 / for]
    front, top right corner, printed in brown ink : VERPFLEGSEINHEIT [ADDITIONAL FOOD UNIT]
    front, right, script in in brown ink : (sideways) II / I/I / II/II
    front, right, script in in brown ink : (sideways) 31 / 30 / 29 / 29/29 / 30/30
    front, right side, center, printed in brown ink and stamped in dark blue : MONAT / FEB. [MONTH / FEB.]
    front, center, printed in brown ink and handwritten in light blue ink : Blau Else Tr No IV/7 787
    Subject: Elsa Blau
    Elsa Rosenthal was born to an orthodox Jewish family in Vienna, Austria, on October 23, 1893. Her mother, Fanny, was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1870, and immigrated to the United States in 1876 when her father, a cantor, accepted a position there. Fanny received US citizenship, but when her father died, returned to Europe, where she married, settled in Vienna, and had three children, Elsa, Leo, and Melanie. Melanie, who had a daughter, Edith, died of a head injury in the 1930s. Elsa graduated from the Vienna Conservatory of Music, with a degree in piano. In 1924, she married Adoph Blau in the Turkischer [Turkish] Temple, a Sephardic synagogue. They had two children, Gertrude, born on March 14, 1925, and Herbert, born on July 28, 1931. Following the Anschluss in March 1938, when Austria was annexed to Germany, anti-Jewish laws were passed and Jews were targeted for persecution and deportation. Elsa’s mother refused to leave without her family and attempted to get them all to the United States, but immigration was difficult and expensive. On August 13, 1942, the family was deported by the Germans to Theresienstadt concentration camp. They were separated as men and women were housed in different barracks. Elsa worked as slave labor at a Messerschmitt airplane factory and a Telefunken electronics factory. Herbert was able to celebrate his Bar Mitvah in Terezin, and his sister was able to attend the ceremony. Not long after this, Gertrude was transferred to Auschwitz concentration camp.

    On May 2, 1945, the Germans transferred administration of Terezin to the International Red Cross. The family was sent to Deggendorf displaced persons camp in Germany, where they were reunited with Gertrude. The family resided in the camp until their emigration. In November 1947, with the assistance of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, they were granted visas for the United States, where they settled in Vineland, New Jersey. Adolph died in 1958. Fanny, age 91, died in 1961. Elsa passed away, age 94, in 1987.

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Object Type
    Ration cards (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Irregularly, cut, rectangular, light brown paper coupon. The front has printed graphics with German text in brown ink. There are entry boxes and lines that are filled in by hand in light blue ink. In the upper right corner is a stamped image of 2 tunnels in black ink; on the lower right is a month stamp; in the upper center is a number stamp. Coupons have been clipped off for use. The reverse is blank.
    overall: Height: 2.000 inches (5.08 cm) | Width: 4.750 inches (12.065 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 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:

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