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Handmade Israeli flag made by a Polish Jewish girl in a DP camp to celebrate statehood

Object | Accession Number: 2006.479.2

Israeli flag made by 15-year-old Judith Wagner on November 29, 1947, immediately after hearing the announcement that the United Nations had voted to partition Palestine into 2 separate states. She was living at the displaced persons (DP) camp in Wels, Austria, when the news was broadcast over the camp loudspeakers. Judith ran home and made the flag in about 2 hours for use at the ensuing celebratory party. Judith grew up in Rudnik, Poland with her younger sister Charlotta, and their parents, Chana and Pinchos. In October 1939, a month after Poland was invaded by Germany and the Soviet Union, the Germans deported the Wagners, with all other Jews in Rudnik, to Soviet-occupied territory. Judith and her family refused to take Soviet citizenship, so they were exiled to Siberia. They lived there for 14 to 16 months before being allowed to move to Kazakhstan, where they stayed for the remainder of the war. In early 1946, the Wagners were repatriated as Polish citizens and taken to Bielawa in Lower Silesia. They lived there for approximately six months before leaving Poland with the help of the Bricha, an underground immigration movement that helped Jews from Eastern Europe move to Palestine and later Israel. The family made it to Austria, where they stayed in a displaced persons camp in Vienna for six months, and then moved to the Wels DP camp. Judith worked as a teacher’s aide at the Wels camp and attended nursing school. Eventually, Judith’s paternal uncle, Avraham, was able to provide the family with affidavits. The family arrived in New York City on June 2, 1951, aboard the USNS General Stewart.

creation:  1947 November 29
distribution: Wels (Displaced persons camp); Wels (Austria)
Identifying Artifacts
Object Type
Flags (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judith & Eddie Weinstein
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:18:26
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