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Flat top brown steamer trunk used by a German Jewish woman during emigration

Object | Accession Number: 2005.140.2

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    Brief Narrative
    Trunk used by 22-year old Eleanor Lustig when she left Germany for the United States in 1937. Eleanor was Protestant but her father was born Jewish, though he had converted to Protestantism before marrying her mother. The anti-Jewish laws enacted by the Nazi government beginning in 1933 used genetic ancestry to determine racial purity. Under these laws, Eleanor was considered Jewish and the anti-Semitic persecution made life difficult for her. She left Hamburg on the SS Washington for the United States in November 1937.
    emigration:  1937 November 30
    use: Washington (Ship); Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Peter Fried
    Marking: exterior, right side, on attached metal piece, engraved : MM MADLER
    exterior, right side, on sticker, black ink : This Material Stored at Tenant’s Risk / TENANT’S NAME / AP’M’T 9A / ONLY BAGGAGE AND TRUNKS ARE ACCEPTED FOR STORAGE / This Label Must be Attached Before Article Leaves Apartment
    exterior, right side, on attached wood and metal piece, engraved : Moritz Mädler / Muster Schutz
    exterior, left side, on sticker, black ink : Cie Gle Transatlantique / French Line / Paris = Le Havre / | 291
    exterior, left side, on circular sticker, blue ink : Cie Gle Transatlantique / French Line / F
    exterior, left side, on sticker, black ink : This Material Stored at Tenant’s Risk / TENANT’S NAME / (?)P’M’T 9A / ONLY BAGGAGE AND TRUNKS ARE ACCEPTED FOR STORAGE / This Label Must be Attached Before Article Leaves Apartment
    exterior, left side, on sticker, black ink : Nord / S / 485 No____ / illegible text / 1934.D
    exterior, lid, on sticker, black and red ink : French Line / Cie Gle / HAVRE SO (?) NEW - YORK / TRANSATLANTIQUE / TOURIST CLSDD / BAGAGES DE CABINE
    Subject: Eleanor Fried
    Eleanor Lustig was born on March 28, 1915, in Gorlitz, Germany to Max (1875-1928) and Margarethe Thomas (1884-1929) Lustig. Max was a businessman from Gleiwitz, Germany (Gliwice, Poland); Margarethe was from Linderode, Kreis Brandenburg, Germany. Eleanor had 2 sisters and a brother: Vera, born in 1916, Karla, birth date unknown, and Rolf, born on September 7, 1919. Max, a Jew, converted to Protestantism to marry Margarethe and they raised their children as Protestants.

    On January 30, 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. By summer, the Nazi dictatorship was established and anti-Jewish laws were enacted. Although Eleanor and her siblings were Protestant by birth, they endured various difficulties during this time since her father was born Jewish. On November 30, 1937, Eleanor left Hamburg for the United States on the SS Washington, arriving in New York City on December 11. She assisted her brother, Rolf, in his attempts to leave, but he was not able to get a permit. He joined the army to avoid arrest and imprisonment and was killed on the Russian front in 1942 when he was 21 years old; Vera emigrated to the US in 1948 and died in 2005 at the age of 88, and Karla died in Germany in 1995. Eleanor married Ernest Fried, also a refugee from Nazi Germany, on July 7, 1945 and the couple had a son. She died on February 4, 2000, at the age of 84.

    Physical Details

    English German French
    Physical Description
    Small, rectangular, fiberboard flat top steamer trunk covered in dark brown cloth with a 2 painted stripes, one red, one green. Four wooden slats with metal slat clamps wrap the exterior. All hardware is tarnished, gold colored metal. On the front are 2 metal locks and keyhole plates with a drawbolt in between. On both sides is a leather handle held by bands. The lid is attached to the base by 3 back flap hinges. The light brown cloth lined cardboard interior is separated into 2 sections by a cardboard partition. The larger compartment has 2 sets of light brown belts attached at the top and the bottom. Within the lid are 4 brown cloth strips are riveted in a rectangular shape. There is a dark red, leather manufacturer’s label with gold lettering and graphics. A brown cloth covered fiberboard insert has 3 sets of belts, light brown cloth handles, and a cloth bottom supported by 3 wooden slats. There are several labels adhered to the exterior: 4 on the right end, 7 on the left, and 11 on the lid. Each end has a metal manufacturer’s plate; the right side has a metal rectangle with 2 cut outs and a luggage tag is tied to the handle.
    overall: Height: 12.875 inches (32.703 cm) | Width: 35.875 inches (91.123 cm) | Depth: 22.250 inches (56.515 cm)
    overall : fiberboard, cloth, cardboard, metal, wood, leather, lacquer, paper, adhesive, thread, paint, ink, string, crayon, graphite

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The steamer trunk was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Peter Fried, the son of Eleanor and Ernest Fried.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:11:57
    This page:

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