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Concentration camp uniform pants worn by a Romanian Jewish inmate at Buchenwald

Object | Accession Number: 2002.467.2

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    Concentration camp uniform pants worn by a Romanian Jewish inmate at Buchenwald

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    Brief Narrative
    Concentration camp pants worn by Isidor Goldstein, husband of Elisabet Goldstein, when he was an inmate at Buchenwald concentration camp. The pants are made from a thin striped material sometimes referred to as “pajama stripes.” Elisabet was from Cluj, Romania. After the area was annexed to Hungary in 1940, Jews suffered economically and physically. Germany occupied Hungary in March 1944, and in May, Elisabet and her family, along with 18,000 other Jewish people in the area, were sent to the Kolozsvár ghetto. Within a month the ghetto was liquidated and the prisoners were transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center. Elisabet’s parents were killed upon arrival and her two brothers and her husband, Isidor, were sent to Buchenwald. Elisabet was sent to several camps in Germany, including subcamps of Gross-Rosen and Neuengamme, where she was a forced laborer in various factories. She was sent to Salzwedel satellite camp only a few weeks before it was liberated by the 84th Infantry Division of the US Army on April 14, 1945. Elisabet traveled to Buchenwald and was reunited with her brother Eugen. Her brother Josef had already been released. It is likely her husband, Isidor, perished at Buchenwald. She and her brothers eventually returned to Cluj.
    received:  approximately 1944
    use: Buchenwald (Concentration camp); Weimar (Thuringia, Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Elisabet Goldstein
    Subject: Elisabet Goldstein
    Elisabet Farkas (b.1916, later Goldstein) was born in Marosludas, Romania. Her father Henrik Farkas (1879-1944) and mother Eszther Wiegner Farkas (1889-1944) were both born in Szaszregen, Romania. Elisabet had two brothers Eugen (b.1912) and Josef (b.1913) and she was married to Isidor Goldstein. Elisabet and her family lived in Cluj, Romania where Henrik worked as a bookkeeper. Cluj had a large and flourishing Jewish community that played a significant part in the economic, social, and cultural life of the city. In August 1940, as part of the second Vienna Award, Germany forced Romania to cede northern Transylvania, which included Cluj, to Hungary. After the Hungarian annexation, Jews suffered economically and physically. In 1942, many men of military age in Cluj were conscripted for forced labor and sent to the Eastern front of the Nazi-occupied area of the Soviet Union, where most perished.

    Germany occupied Hungary in March 1944. In May, the 18,000 remaining local Jews in and around Cluj, including Elisabet and her family, were sent to the Kolozsvár ghetto by local authorities and police working in cooperation with the Germans. The conditions in the makeshift ghetto were appalling. It was on the grounds of a local brickyard and consisted mostly of shacks used for drying bricks and had minimal facilities. Between May 25 and June 9, 1944, Kolozsvár Ghetto was liquidated. Six transports deported the Jewish prisoners, including Elisabet, her parents, and brothers, from the ghetto to Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. Her parents were taken to Auschwitz killing center and murdered shortly after arrival. In June, Eugen and Josef were both transported to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. Her husband Isidor was also sent to Buchenwald.

    In September, Elisabet and 300 other mostly Hungarian women and children were selected by a Philips-Valvo Factory representative to perform forced labor at a plant in Weisswasser, a subcamp of Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Germany, making light globes and filaments. Upon arrival, she was issued number 26918. After heavy bombardment by the Soviet Army in February 1945, the camp was evacuated and the women were taken in wagons to Horneburg, a subcamp of Neuengamme concentration camp in Lower Saxony, Germany, to work in another Philips factory. Elisabet was given the number 11361 at Horneburg. She also worked at another Neuengamme satellite camp for women in Fallersleben, producing armaments at a Volkswagen plant. On April 8, 1945, as the Soviet Army moved closer, the Neuengamme camps were evacuated and Elisabet was sent to Salzwedel satellite camp. The camp was liberated on April 14 by the 84th Infantry Division of the US Army. Before returning to Cluj, Elisabet traveled to Buchenwald and was reunited with her brother Eugen. Her brother Josef had already been released. It is likely her husband, Isidor, perished at Buchenwald.

    Physical Details

    Clothing and Dress
    Object Type
    Pants (lcsh)
    Prison uniforms.
    Physical Description
    Machine stitched, cream colored twill trousers with a herringbone pattern and narrow, two-toned, navy and light blue vertical stripes. The front is flat with a concealed button fly and 3 cream wood pulp buttons, with the top button sewn so it faces the inside. There is 1 angled pocket on the front, right side. On both sides of the front waistband are 2 cream wood pulp buttons for suspenders. On the back, at the center of the waistband, is a cutout notched “v” with a button on either side. Below the notch, there are 2 cloth adjustment straps sewn on. One strap has a cream wood pulp button, and the other has 2 buttonholes. The interior is unlined and there is a hanging loop stitched to the back center. The top buttonhole is reinforced on the interior waistband with a small, square of gray cloth hand-sewn with a zig-zag stitch. The interior crotch has been reinforced with cream colored cloth, and on the lower right leg the seam is open. There is minor staining on the surface.
    overall: Height: 40.250 inches (102.235 cm) | Width: 17.500 inches (44.45 cm)
    overall : cloth, thread, wood pulp

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The uniform pants were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2002 by Elisabet Goldstein, the wife of Isidor Goldstein.
    Record last modified:
    2023-05-24 13:04:52
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