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VT hand stamp made to forge papers for the resistance

Object | Accession Number: 1988.77.7

Counterfeit hand stamp made by Gilbert Leidervarger in southern France between 1942 and 1944 to authenticate forged documents made by the French resistance. Recreating official rubber stamps was difficult because of the special materials and carving skills required. Erasing rubber was not really suitable; some forgers used linoleum or sliced and combined sections from purloined or discontinued stamps. After Germany invaded France on May 10, 1940, Gilbert, wife Suzanne Donoff, and Suzanne’s six siblings, Lina, Rosette, David, Robert, two other sisters, and Robert’s wife Nelly, became involved with Eclaireurs israélites de France (Jewish Scouts of France) and its clandestine branch, La Sixieme. They worked in southern France, governed by the Vichy regime, but occupied by German troops in November 1942. Gilbert made copies of official stamps to authenticate the false papers made by Robert. Lina, Rosette, and David were in Lyon, hiding children and providing false papers and ration cards. France was liberated late summer 1944. David, Robert, and Nelly were killed for their resistance activity.

use:  1942-1944
creation: Vichy (France)
Marking devices
Object Type
Hand stamps (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Elaine Frank, in memory of her mother, Lina Donoff Frank, and her aunts and uncles, David, Robert, and Nelly Donoff and Gilbert Leidervarger
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:11:49
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