Drawing compass and accessories in a case used by a young girl living in hiding
Tools and Equipment
- Object Type
Compasses (drawing instruments) (aat)
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lea Bierlaire-Apfel
Compass owned by 17-year-old Leon Apfel, a drawing student in Antwerp, Belgium, before World War II. Leon’s 10-year-old sister, Lea, admired the compass and took it with her in 1942 when she was sent into hiding with a Catholic family as the Germans were rounding up the Jews of Belgium for deportation to concentration camps. The compass was the only family possession that survived with her. Leon had fled Belgium before the round-ups and tried to make his way to Switzerland, but was captured in France, imprisoned in the Drancy transfer camp, and on September 18, 1942, deported to Auschwitz. On October 24 of that year, their parents were deported to Auschwitz from Belgium. All three were killed in the camp.
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:29:55
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn523199
Also in Leon Apfel collection
The collection consists of a compass and case and a photograph relating to the experiences of Leon Apfel and Lea Apfel-Bierlaire before and during the Holocaust.
Photograph of Leon Apfel
The copyprint photograph depicts Leon Apfel. Unknown photographer. Leon Apfel was born inPrzemysl, Poland, to Rivka Feuer (b. 1897) and Samson (b. 1899). His sister Lea (b. 1931) was born in Belgium, where the family moved in 1929 or 1930. Following the German invasion of Belgium, Leon attempted to escape to Switzerland but was caught in France. He was deported to Drancy and then to Auschwitz and did not survive. His parents were deported to the Mechelen transit camp in 1942 and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau and did not survive. His sister Lea survived in hiding with a Catholic family.