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Black leather mid-calf boots worn by a female Jewish concentration camp prisoner

Object | Accession Number: 2002.366.1 a-b

Pair of black, leather mid-calf boots worn by Alice (Ala) Brand while she was a prisoner at several concentration camps from December 1944 until April 1945. The boots were purchased for Alice by her husband, Samuel, who was working with a special science unit at Płaszów labor camp in German-occupied Poland. Samuel was escorted to and from work by two guards, and he was able to bribe them into taking him to stores to buy supplies for himself and Alice. Alice was living in Tarnów, Poland with her family when Germany invaded on September 1, 1939. A week later, German forces occupied the city. By September 1942, a ghetto was established and her parents and brother had been deported to death camps. Alice began dating Samuel Brand, and later married him while living in the ghetto. Samuel had been a chemistry student who was accepted to an American university before the war and had a United States visa. He and Alice attempted to register for a program where Jews were exchanged for German Prisoners of War (POWs), but the Germans canceled the program and killed many of the other Jews who registered. Samuel and Alice were then transported to Płaszów, where they worked for a special science unit that entitled them to slightly better treatment. In September 1944, Alice was deported to Flossenbürg concentration camp in Germany, then Ravensbrück concentration camp and back to Płaszów in December. In January, 1945, she and Samuel were transported to Auschwitz. From there, Alice was force marched to the Gleiwitz sub camp, put on a cattle car, and then deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Alice remained in Bergen-Belsen until she was liberated on April 15, 1945. After liberation, she recovered in a hospital in Sweden. There, Alice reunited with Samuel and immigrated to the United States on December 6, 1948.

use:  1944 December-1945
acquired:  1944 December-1945 January
acquired: Płaszów (Concentration camp); Płaszów (Poland)
use: Płaszów (Concentration camp); Płaszów (Poland)
use: Auschwitz (Concentration camp); Oświęcim (Poland)
use: Gleiwitz I (Concentration camp); Gliwice (Poland)
use: Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp); Belsen (Bergen, Celle, Germany)
Dress Accessories
Object Type
Riding boots (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ala and Samuel Brand
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 13:23:49
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