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Engraved gold wedding ring acquired by an inmate while in Kaufering concentration camp

Object | Accession Number: 2006.444.2

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    Engraved gold wedding ring acquired by an inmate while in Kaufering concentration camp

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Gold wedding ring acquired by Louis Pearl in Kaufering concentration camp in Germany in 1945. Louis met his bride-to-be, Flora Stark, in the SS kitchen at the camp. They got to know one another through smuggled letters. In the spring of 1945, Louis bartered for 2 gold rings brought into the camp by inmates from the liquidated Łódź ghetto. He had a dentist inscribe the rings: Lajos 1944 Flora. Flora’s ring was confiscated when they attempted to smuggle it to her in the women’s camp. In April 1945, the Germans liquidated the camp and the women were sent on a death march. Flora was liberated in Buchberg, Germany. Louis was transferred to Allach where he was liberated. He immediately went to find Flora to propose marriage. They reunited in May 1945, and after going to Hungary and searching unsuccessfully for any remaining relatives, were married in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on November 4, 1945.
    Date
    received:  before 1945 April
    Geography
    received: Kaufering (Concentration camp); Kaufering (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Flora and Louis Pearl
    Markings
    interior, around band, stamped : hallmark and maker's mark
    Contributor
    Subject: Flora Pearl
    Subject: Louis Pearl
    Biography
    Flora Stark was born in Kisvárda, Hungary, on March 27, 1923. Her parents, Jeno and Elva Stark, had a wholesale wine and beer business, as well as considerable property. Flora was the third of seven children: David, William, Lipot, Lilly, Elek, and Moishe. In 1942, after the Hungarians forbade Jews from owning businesses, Jeno and Elva signed over their property to a tenant, in exchange for promissory notes. In March 1944, Germany seized control of Hungary. Flora and her family were confined to a ghetto and then sent to Auschwitz death camp. Jeno, Elva, Lilly, and Moishe were killed upon arrival. Flora’s elder brothers, David and Elek, were selected for forced labor. Flora spent 2 months in Auschwitz. On July 29, 1944, she and a thousand other girls had to spend the night standing naked; in the morning they were taken for showers, issued other clothes, and transported by wagon to Kaufering concentration camp. At first, Flora was assigned heavy work in the forests, building the new camp. On September 19, 1944, an SS woman arranged for Flora to be transferred to the camp kitchen where she met Louis Pearl. They kept in touch through smuggled correspondence and Louis bartered for rings for them to try to exchange in the spring of 1945. That April, the Germans liquidated the camp and the women were sent on a death march. Flora was liberated in Buchberg, Germany. Louis was transferred to Allach where he was liberated. He immediately went to find Flora and propose. They reunited in May 1945, but Flora did not want to marry right away. Instead, she first wanted to return to Hungary to find any remaining relatives. Only her brother, William, survived. David survived the war, only to die in Theresienstadt, shortly after liberation on July 21, 1945. Elek was killed a few days after arriving in Auschwitz having first been sent to a punishment camp. Louis and Flora married in Prague on November 4, 1945. They emigrated to the United States in June 1946 and settled in Queens, New York.
    Louis (Lajos) Pearl is the son of Hermann and Bertha Perl. He was born on April 30, 1919, in Homonna, Czechoslovakia, where his father had a lumber yard. Louis had 4 sisters and 1 brother: Blanka, Rose, Regina, Manya, and Samuel. Upon hearing of Bertha’s deportation to Poland, in 1942, Hermann had a heart attack and died. Bertha escaped during transit from prison, returned home, and was deported to Auschwitz death camp in 1944, where she perished. Louis was sent to a Hungarian labor camp for 3 years, returned home, and was deported to Auschwitz, where he was sent to clean up the destroyed Warsaw ghetto. In the fall of 1944, he was sent to Kaufering concentration camp in Germany. He worked in the SS Lager and carried in food supplies from transports. Louis met his future wife, Flora, while working in the kitchen. In the spring of 1945, Louis bartered bread for 2 gold rings that came from the liquidated Łódź ghetto. He bartered with a dentist to inscribe the rings: Lajos 1944 Flora. Louis attempted to smuggle the ring to Flora through the underground network, but the Germans confiscated it. In late April 1945, the Germans liquidated Kaufering. The women were sent on a death march, but were liberated in Buchberg, Germany. Louis was transferred to Allach where he was liberated. He immediately went to find Flora to propose. They were reunited in May 1945, but Flora did not want to marry right away. She wanted to return to Hungary to find any remaining relatives. Of Louis Pearls’ family, two sisters were killed: Blanka was murdered with her children, and Manya arrived at Auschwitz, pregnant, and was selected for immediate death. Rose, Regina, and Samuel survived Auschwitz. Regina escaped, reunited with her husband, and had a son. Louis married Flora Stark in Prague on November 4, 1945. They emigrated to the United States in June 1946 and settled in Queens, New York.

    Physical Details

    Language
    Hungarian
    Classification
    Jewelry
    Category
    Rings
    Object Type
    Wedding rings (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Plain gold wedding band with an inscription engraved on the interior.
    Dimensions
    overall: | Diameter: 0.750 inches (1.905 cm)
    Materials
    overall : gold
    Inscription
    interior, around band, cursive, engraved : Lajos 1944 Flora

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The wedding ring was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2006 by Flora and Louis Pearl.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-31 10:14:18
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn518640

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