Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Child's wicker chair received by Louise Lawrence-Israels for her birthday while in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 2005.316.1

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Child's wicker chair received by Louise Lawrence-Israels for her birthday while in hiding

    Please select from the following options:


    Brief Narrative
    Wicker basket chair given to Louise Israels by her parents on her second birthday, July 30, 1944, while the family was living in hiding in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Louise also received a doll for her birthday. The chair may have been for the doll, but Louise was small enough to sit in it. Germany occupied the Netherlands in May 1940. By 1942, deportations of Jews to extermination camps were occurring regularly. Louise, her two-year-old brother, their parents, and grandparents decided to go into hiding. No one except her father ever left their small attic hiding place. He snuck out after curfew to get food and other supplies. Amsterdam was liberated by Canadian forces on May 5, 1945. The next day, her parents took Louise and her brother outside to play in the park across the street, but they were too scared. As Louise recalls: “All we wanted was to go back inside...” Louise, having spent most of her life hiding indoors, had to learn how to live in a world without walls.
    received:  1944 July 30
    received: in hiding; Amsterdam (Netherlands)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Louise Lawrence-Israels
    Subject: Louise Lawrence-Israels
    Louise Israels was born in Haarlem, the Netherlands, in 1942. German forces had invaded the Netherlands in May 1940 and set up a German administration. The Nazi's also confiscated the family business. By the time Louise was born, anti-Semetic laws were enacted and Jews were forced to wear a yellow star. By July of 1942 deportations of Jews from the Netherlands to the extermination camps of Auschwitz and Sobibor had begun.

    In January 1943 Louise and her family were ordered to move to Amsterdam, and shortly thereafter went into hiding to escape deportation. Louise's father managed to rent a top floor apartment and acquired false identification papers for the family. Louise's father had to leave the apartment after curfew to get food and medicine for the family; sometimes he brought home news about the war.

    Louise's parents tried to give their children a "normal" childhood in hiding; playing and learning colors, letters, and songs. It was in this apartment that Louise learned to walk. When air raid alarms sounded, the family took refuge on the steep staircase, the strongest and safest part of an Amsterdam row house. Louise's mother had an emergency basket ready to take with them during air raids.

    On May 5, 1945, Canadian forces liberated Amsterdam. Louise was three years old. Louise initially had difficulty adjusting to a world without walls, having never been outside for the duration of the hiding. After the war, the family did not talk about their life in hiding. Shortly thereafter Louise's father found work in Stockholm, Sweden; Louise, her mother, brother and baby sister joined him during the winter of 1946. The Israels family moved back to the Netherlands in 1948. Louise earned a degree in physical therapy in the Netherlands and in 1965 she married Sidney Z. Lawrence, an American medical student in Amsterdam. They moved to the United States in 1967. After Sidney retired from the U.S. military in 1994, they settled in Bethesda, Maryland. Louise volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Physical Details

    Furnishings and Furniture
    Physical Description
    Brown, open weave wicker chair with high sides, a high rounded back, and a flared basket bottom. A wooden seat is nailed to the frame. The upper back portion has twisted, decorative wicker twists interwoven in a wave pattern through vertical sticks in five horizontal rows. The woven section below the seat is of a closed, tight weave construction in two tones; the round woven skirt extends to the ground.
    overall: Height: 15.125 inches (38.418 cm) | Width: 13.375 inches (33.973 cm) | Depth: 11.500 inches (29.21 cm)
    overall : wood, wicker, metal, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The wicker chair was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Louise Lawrence-Israels.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-02 13:41:05
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us