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Upright embossed aluminum wardrobe trunk used by a German Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2005.140.3

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    Brief Narrative
    Standing trunk, part of a matched set (2005.140.4), used by Ernest Ludwig when he emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1938. Ernest was running the family lumber business in Landau when Hitler was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933. Following the Reichstag Fire in late February, Germany became a police state and Jews often were forced to give up their businesses. Ernest and his mother were preparing to leave Germany when Ernest was arrested on November 10, 1938, during Kristallnacht. He was on a transport to Dachau concentration camp when the Gestapo found a receipt for his emigration tax and released him. He returned to Landau and sold the lumber business. He and his mother sailed from England for the United States on the SS Manhattan on January 14, 1939.
    emigration:  1938 December 15
    emigration: Manhattan (Ship); Landau in der Pfalz (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Peter Fried
    exterior, right side, stenciled, black paint, printed, black ink : E.F. 3
    exterior, right side top, on center label, black ink, printed : Leder-Schazmann / KOFFER-UND LEDERWAREN / STUTTGART-S, CHARLOTTENSTR. 8
    exterior, left side, stenciled, black paint : E.F. 3
    exterior, left side, top, center label, black ink : Leder-Schazmann / KOFFER-UND LEDERWAREN / STUTTGART-S, CHARLOTTENSTR. 8
    exterior, front, top, center label, black ink, printed and handwritten : Absender: / Ernst Fried (handwritten) / Laudau Pf. (handwritten) / Datum: 14.12.38 (handwritten) / Von Station / Mannheim (handwritten) / Nach Station / Southauc (?) (handwritten)
    Subject: Ernest Fried
    Ernest Salomon Fried was born on July 15, 1904, in Landau, Germany, to Jewish parents, Maximillian, a lumber merchant, born on May 25, 1870, in Landau, and Hedwig Levi Fried, born on February 6, 1875, in Stuttgart, Germany. He had a sister, Ilse (1899-1926). The family lumber business, the Roos and Fried Co., was run by Maximillian, with his brother, Hugo, until Maximillian's death on June 14, 1907; Ernest took over when he was older.

    After the Nazi dictatorship was established in 1933, anti-Jewish laws were enacted and many rights were eliminated. In August 1938, Ernest and his cousin, Olga Fried (the widow of Hugo), were pressured into selling the family lumber business to wholesalers Weigard & Wickert. By early November 1938, Ernest and his mother were preparing to emigrate to the United States. They obtained visas, shipped belongings, and paid emigration and property taxes. On November 10, 1938, during Kristallnacht, the Nazis conducted a sweep of Landau. Ernest was arrested and put on a transport for Dachau concentration camp. During the trip, the guards discovered his emigration tax receipt, thus the Gestapo released Ernest on November 15 in Ludwigshafen. He returned to Landau and disposed of his remaining personal property. Ernest and his mother arrived in England via Switzerland and France, and sailed for the US from Southampton on the SS Manhattan on January 18, 1939, arriving and settling in New York. Between 1939 and the early 1940’s, Ernest worked as a longshoreman before entering the health food business. He converted to Protestantism and married Eleanor Lustig on July 14, 1945. The couple had two sons. Hedwig died in 1970 at the age of 95. Ernest died in New York in 1978 at 74 years old.

    Physical Details

    German English
    Physical Description
    Large, upright aluminum traveling trunk with an embossed diamond pattern. The exterior edges have metal trim and corner bumpers. The vertical front opening has 2 silver drawbolts flanking a key lock and slide closure. Both sides have a leather handle held by bands and a silver painted leather handle. The trunk opens outward from 3 rear flap hinges revealing a wood and metal interior lined with light brown cloth. Within the left section, 2 horizontal rods are riveted to the back and hold 10 wooden hangers. There are 3 sets of cloth belts attached to the sides: 1 set at the bottom; 2 smaller sets on the side and at the bottom corners. Within the right section are 5 cloth lined drawers with 2 silver metal drop pull handles and 2 sets of belts. The bottom drawer pulls open and down to hold footwear. At the top center is a lock plate with a keyhole and a silver key. The top of the left section opens upward to provide access to the interior; it has 2 flap hinges and a slide closure. On the exterior right side is a rectangular metal plate with 2 cut outs to cover a plastic covered identification label. Both sides have a manufacturer’s plate with initials, a number, and several adhered paper labels. It is part of a set with 2005.140.4.
    overall: Height: 50.125 inches (127.318 cm) | Width: 26.125 inches (66.358 cm) | Depth: 22.500 inches (57.15 cm)
    overall : metal, cloth, wood, fiberboard, leather, thread, paint, plastic, paper, ink, string
    tag, front, black ink, handwritten : suitcase

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The wardrobe 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:
    2023-08-10 14:05:58
    This page:

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