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Embossed aluminum flat top steamer trunk used by a German Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2005.140.4

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    Embossed aluminum flat top steamer trunk used by a German Jewish refugee


    Brief Narrative
    Steamer trunk, part of a set with 2005.140.3, used by Ernest Fried 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
    use: SS Manhattan (Ship); Landau in der Pfalz (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Peter Fried
    interior, base, cloth cover, on snap, engraved : CK / ST
    interior, keys, front, engraved : EAGLE LOCK CO. / TERRYVILLE / CONN. / USA
    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 French
    Physical Description
    Rectangular aluminum steamer trunk with an embossed diamond pattern. It has 2 horizontal, silver painted wooden slats on the lid and base and metal trimmed edges and corner bumpers. On the front are 2 metal hasp locks flanking a drawbolt. The lid is cut diagonally front to back, with 2 metal handle loops riveted to the lid. Each side of the base has a silver painted leather handle. On the right are 2 metal slide closures. The lid is attached to the base by 3 rear flap hinges. The lid lifts upward, from a narrow side, and contains 2 metal rods with 8 removable, wooden hangers; a light brown cloth with a pleated front pocket covers this space. The interior base is lined with light brown cloth and is partitioned into 2 compartments by a cardboard divider. The larger compartment has 2 cloth belts; the smaller has a light brown cloth cover to protect items stored inside. Two silver keys on a tag are engraved with English text, but do not fit the lock. There are stickers on the right and left side exterior sides of the base. It is part of a set with 2005.140.3.
    overall: Height: 11.375 inches (28.893 cm) | Width: 31.625 inches (80.328 cm) | Depth: 18.880 inches (47.955 cm)
    overall : metal, cloth, wood, cardboard, paper, leather, thread, ink, adhesive
    tag, front, handwritten, black ink : Aluminum Suitcase
    tag, reverse, handwritten, black ink : # / 8500
    exterior, base, on sticker, black ink: SCHWEIZERISCHES / ZOLLGUT / ZOLLAMT BASEL B-B SCHWEIZ / GERÄCK / 15XII38 (black ink, stamped) / SOUS (?) / DE LA DO(?) / Nachdruck verboten - Reproduction interditet - Riproduzione
    exterior, base, on sticker, black ink : S.NC. / RÉGION du NORD / Southern / Railway / PARIS / á LONDRES / VICTORIA (West End) / (via BOULOGNE - FOLKSTONE)
    exterior, base, on sticker, black ink : (?) Mod 8384 (8187). A.4972.8.36.5000
    exterior, base, on sticker, black ink : S.N.C.F. Région du Nord / de Paris / 1079 / Bagages

    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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