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Striped black coatdress with belt made by a German Jewish woman

Object | Accession Number: 2002.474.3 a-b

Handmade coatdress and belt designed and created by Gertrud Koh Isaacsohn, a Jewish dressmaker in prewar Berlin, Germany. In 1938, Gertrud and her husband Julius, a coat and suit designer with his own garment making business, had lost their livelihood because of the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazi regime. They sent their daughter Dorit, age 6, to Brussels, Belgium, in early 1939, to stay with Gertrud’s sister Anna Kaufman. Germany invaded Belgium in May 1940, and Gertrud and Julius had Dorit returned to them in 1941. Gertrud and Julius became forced laborers for the German government, working in a leather factory and lumber yard respectively. On February 27, 1943, the family had to separate in order to go into hiding. Gertrud began working as a traveling seamstress and Julius and Dorit stayed with family friends, and Julius’ nephew, Rolf Isaacsohn, in Berlin. In October 1943, Gertrud brought Dorit to live with her on a farm in Wilkersdorf. Shortly after, Julius, who was hiding with friends, was betrayed to the authorities by Rolf. On October 29, Julius was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland, where he was killed. Gertrud and Dorit traveled around eastern Germany making dresses for private clients until January 1945, when they were liberated by Soviet forces in Wilkersdorf. Gertrud and Dorit immigrated to the United States in November 1949.

creation:  approximately 1938
creation: Berlin (Germany)
Clothing and Dress
Women's clothing
Object Type
Coatdresses (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Dorit Isaacsohn
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:11:42
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