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Black leather midcalf boots worn by a female Jewish concentration camp prisoner

Object | Accession Number: 2002.366.1 a-b

Samuel Brand purchased the boots for his wife Ala when they were both imprisoned in Plaszow concentration camp in Poland from mid-1943 - January 1945. Samuel got them by bribing their police escorts while working with a special science unit at Plaszow. Ala wore the boots throughout the rest of her imprisonment. In January 1945, the Germans decided to close Plaszow and deport the prisoners. Ala and Samuel were sent to Auschwitz which was evacuated due to approaching Allied forces soon after. Ala was forced on a death march to Gleiwitz, from there she was transported to Bergen Belsen. Ala was liberated on April 15,1945, and sent to Sweden to recover. Sam was sent to Rychnow labor camp in Czechoslovakia. He was liberated April 8, 1945, and hospitalized in Jablonec. They had agreed to contact each other after the war through his aunt who lived in Brooklyn, New York. Ala had gotten a job in a chocolate factory in Sweden and sent letters to the aunt. One day, a French colonel touring Sam's hospital, after being told Sam was not likely to survive, asked if there was anything he could do for him. Sam asked him to contact his family in the US. A while later, Sam received a letter from his aunt, enclosing a letter from Ala. Ala's boss promised Sam a job which helped him get a Swedish visa. Ala and Sam were reunited in Sweden 1947 and, the next year, emigrated to America.

Date
1944-1945  (use)
Geography
received : Plaszow (Concentration camp); Plaszow (Poland)
use : Auschwitz (Concentration camp); Oswiecim (Poland)
use : Gleiwitz I (Concentration camp); Gliwice (Poland)
use : Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp); Belsen (Bergen, Celle, Germany)
Classification
Dress Accessories
Category
Footwear
Object Type
Riding boots (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ala and Samuel Brand
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:06:07
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn520451