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Lea Berkman photograph collection

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2005.462.1

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    The Lea Berkman photograph collection consits of 22 photographs depicting twins Lucyina Cuker and Irka Cuker and the Cuker family in Radom, Poland, prior to World War II.
    inclusive:  circa 1923-circa 1939
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lea Berkman
    Collection Creator
    Lea Berkman
    Lucyina Cuker (later Lea Berkman) and her twin sister Irka Cuker was born on September 1, 1923 in Radom, Poland to Shmuel and Freida Cuker. Their father owned a shoe store in Radom. They also had a younger brother, Tuvia, born in 1927. The family was very Zionist and religiously observant. Their grandfather was a shochet (ritual slaughterer). Lucyina and Irka attended a private Jewish school as well as a Polish high school.
    After World War II began, the twins entered the smaller Radom ghetto and were assigned to sew clothes for the German Army. In 1942, the Cuker family was deported from the ghetto. Shmuel and Frieda were sent to Treblinka concentration camp, where they perished. Tuvia was sent to a labor camp and then to Gross-Rosen. He perished during the Holocaust. The Cuker twins were first sent to Blizyn concentration camp and then to Auschwitz. When they arrived in Auschwitz in June 1944, the Blockältester noted that they were twins. They joined a group of twins from Hungary who were used for medical experiments. Though the Cuker girls were 21 years old, they appeared much younger and, therefore, they were not subjected to any gynecological tests. However, they were subject to various blood tests.
    On January 18, 1945, Lucyina and Irka were sent on a death march from Auschwitz. They were later placed on trucks and taken to the Ravensbrück concentration camp and later taken to an airplane factory in Neustadt-Glewe, Germany. Since they were twins, they were given special work which included guarding their block, collecting human refuse, and collecting bodies of those who had perished. They were liberated in May 1945 by French and American troops. After the war, Lucyina and Irka went to Łódź, Poland where they were reunited with two cousins.

    Physical Details

    1 folder
    System of Arrangement
    The Lea Berkman photograph collection is arranged in a single series.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Radom (Poland) Poland.

    Administrative Notes

    Lea Berkman donated the Lea Berkman photograph collection to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:21:30
    This page:

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