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Handcrafted wooden box with inlaid text and a mirror made in the Łódź Ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 2004.630.4

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    Handcrafted wooden box with inlaid text and a mirror made in the Łódź Ghetto


    Brief Narrative
    Handmade wooden box with a folding mirror crafted and used in the Jewish ghetto in Łódź, Poland. It haand inlaid letters spelling Getto 1942 Litzmannstadt. 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, with the severe overcrowding, death from starvation and disease 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.
    creation:  1942
    creation: Litzmannstadt-Getto (Łódź, Poland); Łódź (Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Rafal Imbro
    lid, upper left, inlaid wood : L with an inset R
    lid exterior, center, inlaid wood : GETTO / 1942 / LITZMANNSTADT

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Dressing cases (aat)
    Physical Description
    Rectangular wooden board box with a thin, worn, brown wood veneer nailed to the top of the double hinged lid with a deep lip on all sides. The lid exterior has inlaid initials in the upper left and a Star of David with German text, a numerical year, and German text in a vertical center row. On the lid front is a gold colored tarnished metal elongated oval latch that bends up at the bottom end with a rectangular cutout to fit over a metal latch catch on the base front. When the lid opens, a wooden framed rectangular mirror swings out to rest on the base top. It is attached to a gold colored metal piano hinge that is nailed to the interior lid edge. When the lid is closed, the mirror fits into the recessed space of the lid interior. There are small rectangles of leather nailed to the left and right front corners of the lid, perhaps as reinforcement. The lid interior has penciled numbers, symbols, and letters. The base interior has triangular wood supports at each bottom corner. Adhered to each corner of the base underside are square wooden feet. The box is chipped, cracked, has adhesive residue, and is stained with dirt and paint.
    overall: Height: 5.500 inches (13.97 cm) | Width: 11.875 inches (30.163 cm) | Depth: 7.875 inches (20.003 cm)
    overall : wood, mirror glass, metal, leather

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    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:
    2022-08-31 12:48:54
    This page:

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