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Carved wooden box handmade and used in the Łódź Ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 2004.630.3

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    Carved wooden box handmade and used in the Łódź Ghetto
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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Handmade carved wooden box used in the Jewish ghetto in Łódź, Poland. It has the year 1932 etched in the lid with a later addition of the year 1940 and the name Estera Tannenbaum Hersz. Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and one week later occupied Łódź. They renamed it Litzmannstadt and in February 1940 relocated all the Jews, roughly 100,000 people, into a sealed ghetto. Prewar Łódź was a thriving industrial city and the ghetto continued to be an important manufacturing center. Daily life and social and economic activity in the ghetto was handled by a Council of Jewish Elders who reported to the German authorities. There were continual food shortages and death from starvation was common. By September 1942, the Germans had deported the majority of the residents to Chelmno killing center. The ghetto was destroyed in May 1944.
    Date
    creation:  1932
    use:  1932-1944
    Geography
    creation: Litzmannstadt-Getto (Łódź, Poland); Łódź (Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Rafal Imbro

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Containers
    Category
    Boxes
    Physical Description
    Rectangular, stained, varnished, brown wooden box with carved reliefs, rounded corners and a hinged lid. On the lid exterior is a carved relief of a male lion in flying gallop under a tree with a leafy horizontal bough on a patterned, textured background. In the upper right are etched dates and a letter; the more recent date, 1940, is scratched and appears to be a later addition. There are etched dates and German text in the same style along the lid front and side edges. The sides of the lid extend downward and are carved with 2 interlocked rows of alternating rectangles that form decorative top borders for the side and front base carvings. Each base panel also has a vertical column of circles within a rectangle on each side. The front base panel has a carved relief of a man aiming a rifle over a dog chasing a stag. The right and left side carvings have a circle flanked by scrollwork. The back base panel carving has 2 large flowers with horizontal leafy stems. There is a rectangular cut out in the top base interior where a locking mechanism used to be. The exterior edge has 2 small holes on each end of the rim carving where a closing pin would have been inserted. Each corner of the box has a carved, nearly 3-dimensional column. The base and lid interior have penciled text, numbers, and numerical equations. The underside is unfinished plywood with missing sections. There are some chips, gouges, and scratches and wax and dirt residue.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 3.750 inches (9.525 cm) | Width: 10.500 inches (26.67 cm) | Depth: 6.125 inches (15.558 cm)
    Materials
    overall : wood, metal, varnish stain, graphite
    Inscription
    lid exterior, border, carved : Getto L-stadt 1940 / ESTERA TANENBAUM HERSZ / Getto L-stadt 1940
    lid, top exterior, carved : 1932 / 19 R 40
    interior, pencil : Rolmiera '39

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The box was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Rafal Imbro.
    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:
    2023-12-06 12:06:03
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn522466

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