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Green handkerchief case used by a German Jewish emigre

Object | Accession Number: 2003.132.2

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    Green handkerchief case used by a German Jewish emigre


    Brief Narrative
    Green case stamped handkerchiefs owned by Heinz Kis, which he might have brought with him to Palestine when he emigrated from Eisenach, Germany in 1936. In January 1933, Adolf Hitler became the chancellor of Germany and anti-Jewish laws were implemented. In 1936, Heinz, 22, and his brother Alfred, 15, secured a visa from the British government, which governed Palestine under a United Nations mandate. The visa did not cover their parents Samuel and Frieda. In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland and Heinz lost contact with his parents and relatives in Germany. In May 1942, Heinz’s parents were deported to Belzyce ghetto in Poland and perished.
    emigration:  1936
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Molly Kis
    Subject: Henry J. Kis
    Heinz Jakob Kis was born on March 5, 1914, in Erfurt, Germany, to Samuel and Frieda Emanuel Kis. Samuel, a merchant, was born on April 10, 1881, most likely in Altona, Germany. Frieda was born in June 1889, in Nentershausen, Germany, to Yaakov and Perel Emanuel. On March 25, 1913, Samuel and Frieda married in Erfurt. On November 1, 1921, Heinz’s brother Alfred was born. On February 21, 1922, Heinz’s family moved to Eisenach. Samuel owned a store that sold manufactured goods. Frieda was a saleswoman at the store.
    On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. The regime enacted anti-Jewish laws, which restricted the daily lives of Jews. In 1936, Heinz and his brother Alfred secured one of the few visas granted to Jews trying to travel to Palestine, which was ruled by the British per a United Nations mandate. They left, but their parents, Samuel and Frieda, were not included in the visa. On November 10, 1938, the second day of Kristallnacht, Samuel was arrested. He was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp and assigned prisoner number 20801. On November 27, he was released. Heinz’s parents continued to look for ways to leave and join their sons. In June 1939, Heinz received a letter from Samuel explaining that someone suggested he apply for Cuban visas, but there was no money to pay for them. In September 1939, the war began after Germany invaded Poland and Heinz no longer received mail from his parents.
    On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. Heinz later learned that his parents, Samuel and Frieda, were deported in May 1942 on transport Da 72 to Belzyce ghetto in Poland. They were listed as missing after the war and he presumed they perished. On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was established. Heinz became a travel agent. His brother Alfred changed his name to Ze’ve. Heinz married a Polish Jewish emigre, Malka Amir, in Haifa. Malka was born Regina Spitz on April 7, 1923, in Poland, to Yehoshua and Elka Nadel Spitz. By 1933, Malka’s family had immigrated, settling first in Berlin, Germany, and then in Haifa, Palestine. The family changed their surname to Amir. In the 1950s, Heinz and Malka immigrated to the United States, and Americanized their names to Henry and Molly. They had two daughters and settled in New Jersey. Ze’ve, 62, died in 1984. Henry, 85, died on February 17, 2000.

    Physical Details

    Dress Accessories
    Physical Description
    Square, dark green, textured faux leather bifold case with a strap with a silver colored metal tab at the top to insert into a sliding release catch on the body. The covers are reinforced with cardboard and the interior is lined with green moire silk. There are 2 full height accordion pockets with stiff, dark green leather covered front panels with black leather sides and lining. The gold painted English word Handkerchiefs is stamped across the front of each pocket. The wallet is well worn from use.
    overall: Height: 6.000 inches (15.24 cm) | Width: 7.000 inches (17.78 cm) | Depth: 1.875 inches (4.763 cm)
    overall : leather, cardboard, cloth, metal, paper, thread, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The handkerchief holder was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Molly Kis, the wife of Henry Kis.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:29:40
    This page:

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