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Fragment of a blanket used by a Czech concentration camp inmate

Object | Accession Number: 2002.347.1

Blanket placed over Olga Rosenberger, 18, at the recently liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp by Etta, a former kapo, who saw her lying sick and cold on the ground. The blanket is woven from a blend of animal and human hair. Prisoners at most camps had their hair shaved off during their initial processing. As resources became scarce, Germany used hair to make textile products, such as blankets and socks for the Army and Navy, gaskets, and other items for the automotive industry. Bergen-Belsen was liberated April 15, 1945, by British and Canadian troops. Olga weighed only 64 pounds and was ill with typhus; the kapo who helped her knew her from their hometown, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (Slovakia.) Olga's mother Piroška collapsed and died in the camp that same day. The family was discovered in hiding and deported from Bratislava to Auschwitz concentration camp. After selection as forced labor, Olga was sent to Gross Rosen concentration camp. In January 1945, she arrived in Bergen-Belsen on a death march. After recuperating for several months in various hospitals, Olga returned to Bratislava in fall 1945. She married John Horak in 1947 and they fled the impending Communist Russian takeover. In 1949, they settled in Australia.

received:  approximately 1945 April 15
received: Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp); Belsen (Bergen, Celle, Germany)
Furnishings and Furniture
Household linens
Object Type
Blankets (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Olga Horak
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:15:58
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