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Daily prayer book buried by Louise Lawrence-Israels family while living in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 2005.316.2 a-b

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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Prayer book buried by the family of Louise Israels while they lived in hiding in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 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.
    Title
    Thephillah vethachanunim
    Date
    publication/distribution:  1883
    Geography
    publication: Rodelheim (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Louise Lawrence-Israels
    Contributor
    Publisher: Lehrberger & Co.
    Subject: Louise Lawrence-Israels
    Biography
    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

    Language
    Hebrew Dutch
    Object Type
    Books (lcsh)
    Genre/Form
    Religious books
    Physical Description
    192 p. ; 12 cm.
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The book was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Louise Lawrence-Israels.
    Record last modified:
    2022-12-08 11:00:08
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn523023

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