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Tremolo style Opera harmonica owned by an Austrian Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2015.312.4

Opera brand harmonica acquired by Alfred Berg as a child in Vienna, Austria before his emigration in 1939. The harmonica was made by the Max Spranger Company based in Brunndöbra, Germany. Alfred was a teenage boy living in Vienna with his parents and younger sister Charlotte when Germany annexed Austria in the Anschluss on March 13, 1938. German authorities quickly created new legislation that restricted Jewish life. Alfred was targeted by bullies because of his Jewish heritage and on November 9-10 during the Kristallnacht pogrom, his father was arrested and later released by local police. In May 1939, Charlotte was one of fifty Jewish children from Vienna selected by Americans Gilbert and Eleanor Krauss to be rescued from the Nazis and taken to the United States. Days before the mission was to leave Vienna, one of the children became ill and was unable to travel. Alfred was selected to take his place. Alfred and Charlotte arrived in New York on May 23, and later in the year their parents were able to immigrate to the United States. On June 11, 1943, Alfred was drafted. He joined the Navy Seabees (Construction Battalion) as a private and was sent to Okinawa, Japan, but arrived after the war ended. After his service ended, Albert returned to New York where he met and married Marianne Salomon, a fellow Holocaust survivor.

manufacture:  approximately 1930
manufacture: Brunndöbra (Germany)
Object Type
Harmonica (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marianne Berg
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:25:10
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