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White prison patch with a red triangle and number 97905 owned by a Lithuanian Jewish man

Object | Accession Number: 1995.A.0753.2

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    White prison patch with a red triangle and number 97905 owned by a Lithuanian Jewish man

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    White cloth badge like the one Isaak Nementschik (later Irving Newman) wore while a prisoner in Buchenwald concentration camp. It is printed with an inverted red triangle signifying that was a political prisoner, and his prisoner number 97905. Isaak, an accountant, and his wife, Lea, a dentist, and their children Fira, 6, and Boris, 2, lived in Kaunas (Kovno], Lithuania, which was occupied by Nazi Germany in June 1941. Isaak was arrested and taken to a fort where over 3000 of those captured were shot and killed. Isaak bribed a guard and hid in a hole. On his return to the ghetto, he worked as a forced laborer. Circa 1943, Irving was deported to Stutthof concentration camp. He was sent to Buchenwald ca. 1945 and escaped ca. April/May during a death march. He was found by a Czech woman who cared for him until he regained his health. He left to find his family and they were reunited in Łódź, Poland. In 1944, Lea had cut a hole in the ghetto fence and smuggled Fira, Boris, and a young cousin Llana out in sacks. They then survived in hiding. The family lived in displaced person camps in Germany until 1949, when they left for America.
    Date
    use:  approximately 1944-1945 May
    Geography
    use: Buchenwald (Concentration camp); Weimar (Thuringia, Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Florence M. Post
    Contributor
    Subject: Irving Newman
    Subject: Florence M. Post
    Biography
    Isaak Nementschik (later Irving Newman) was a Jewish accountant born in April 1907 in Ukmerge, Lithuania. He married Lea Bernstein (Lisa Newman, 1910-), a dentist from Mariampole, Poland in May 1935. Together, they had a comfortable life in Kaunas, Lithuania and two children, Fira (Florence) born March 1936 and Boris (William) born April 1939. In the years leading up to World War II, Irving tried to obtain papers in order to flee Lithuania, but was unsuccessful. As persecution against Jews by the Nazis increased, the family was moved into the Kovno (Kaunas) ghetto. In 1940, Irving was arrested with several thousand other professional Jewish men and taken to a fort in Kaunas where over 3,000 were shot and killed. Irving survived by bribing a guard and hiding in a hole. He returned home to work as a laborer and fed his family by trading valuable items for bread and potatoes.

    Around 1943 Irving was deported to Stutthof concentration camp. His wife and children remained in the ghetto. Lisa later escaped the ghetto and smuggled the children out to safety in 1944 by cutting a hole in the ghetto fence and carrying Florence, William, and a cousin named Llana out in sacks. Florence and Llana were taken to a farm in the countryside of Lithuania where they stayed in hiding until the war ended. William stayed with a Christian woman living in Kaunas, whom Lisa paid by working as a migrant famer traveling around Lithuania. During this time, Irving was transferred to Buchenwald concentration camp and escaped into the woods during a death march. Emaciated and starving, he was nursed back to health by a Czech woman who discovered him. The entire family survived the war and reunited in Łódź, Poland in 1945.

    For four years the family lived in displaced person camps in West Germany, where Irving became active in writing for the Jidisze Cajtung, one of the largest displaced persons newspapers. In May 1949, the family immigrated to the United States aboard the SS Marine Marlin after obtaining papers from relatives in Connecticut. Irving died in 1984 in Connecticut.

    Physical Details

    Classification
    Identifying Artifacts
    Category
    Badges
    Physical Description
    Unevenly cut, rectangular, discolored white cloth patch with frayed edges. Across the center are an inverted red inked triangle followed by the prisoner number 97905 handwritten in blue ink. There are smudges and small stains.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 1.750 inches (4.445 cm) | Width: 4.375 inches (11.113 cm)
    Materials
    overall : cloth, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1995 by Florence N. Post, the daughter of Irving Newman.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-12-06 11:54:31
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn531670

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