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Łódź (Litzmannstadt) ghetto 10 mark coin owned by a former child internee

Object | Accession Number: 2015.544.2

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    Łódź (Litzmannstadt) ghetto 10 mark coin owned by a former child internee


    Brief Narrative
    10 mark coin token issued in Łódź Ghetto owned by Ilona Winograd who was born in the ghetto in 1940. Ilona's parents Bella and Marek were forced into the ghetto after the September 1939 German invasion of Poland. From September 5-12, 1942, the Germans conducted a mass deportation, targeting hospital patients, the elderly, and children; over 12,000 people were deported to Chelmno killing center. Ilona was not included in the round-up because she was the child of an essential Jewish Council employee; her father was in charge of ghetto housing. When the ghetto was liquidated in October 1944, Ilona and her mother were sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp and her father was sent to Oranienburg. They were reunited when the war ended in May 1945. They walked back to Łódź and searched unsuccessfully for relatives. They left for Sweden in 1946 because of postwar antisemitism.
    issue:  1943
    issue: Litzmannstadt-Getto (Łódź, Poland); Łódź (Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ilona W. Barkal
    obverse, embossed : GETTO / 1943
    reverse, around the rim, engraved : DER AELTESTE DER JUDEN / ˙ IN LITZMANNSTADT ˙ [Eldest of the Jews in Litzmannstadt]
    reverse, center, embossed : 10 / MARK
    reverse, center, embossed: QUITTUNG UB[E]R [On Receipt]
    Subject: Ilona Barkal
    Ilona Winograd was born in the Łódź Ghetto on German occupied Poland on January 15, 1940, to Bajla (Bella) Kozak and Marcus Marek Winograd. Bajla was born on December 12, 1909, and was a Strasbourg educated bacteriologist. Marcus, born on May 18, 1903, was a textile engineer. Thier families lived next door to each other. Bella's family had a newspaper distribution business and Marek's family ran a clothing store. The couple married on February 2, 1938. Germany invaded and occupied Poland in early September 1939. In February, the families were forced into a Jewish ghetto. Bella and Marek lived with their extended family, including Ilona’s paternal grandparents, Luba and Nuchem, maternal grandparents, Ita and Moshe, and three maternal uncles, Szmul, (1910-1944), Fabian, (1907-1943), and Izio, d. 1941. Marcus worked for the Jewish Council and was in charge of housing. Bajla worked as a bacteriologist in the laboratory at 3 Zgierska Street. From September 5-12, 1942, 12,000 Jews were deported to Chelmno extermination camp during the Gehsperre Aktion. The ghetto hospital was closed, and the patients were the first to be deported, followed by the elderly, the infirm, and children. Ilona was two and a half years old, but was exempted from deportation because she was the child of a Jewish Council essential employee. During the Aktion, each exempted child was issued a round, wooden tag with their name and required to wear it around their neck. The group of 226 children were hidden in the hospital on Lagiewnicka Street, until the Aktion ended. In August 1944, as the ghetto was being emptied of all residents through mass deportations, the Winograd family was permitted to stay until October. On October 21, 1944, a group of 600 Jews, including Ilona and her parents, known as Biebow's Jews, after the Nazi administrator of the ghetto, Hans Biebow, were taken to Konigs Wusterhausen concentration camp, near Berlin. Ilona and Bella were transported to Ravensbrück concentration camp and Marcus was sent to Oranienburg concentration camp. Ilona's mother, with her skills as a scientist, would drug Ilona to keep her still and quiet during times of danger in the camp. On April 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the area and Ilona, Bella, and Marcus were reunited. The family walked back to Łódź and searched unsuccessfully for any remaining family members. Bella found work as a laboratory technician but, in 1946, the family left for Sweden because of the intense antisemitism in Poland. Ilona received a degree in dentistry and emigrated to Israel in 1970.

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Object Type
    Tokens (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Circular, lightweight, silver colored metal coin with a flat rim and smooth edge. The obverse has an embossed design with the denomination 10 mark in the center crossed by a banner with Quittung Uber. There is German text circling the edge near the rim. The reverse has a large, smooth Star of David, overlaid by the word GETTO on the bottom right, with the year 1943 below, bordered by a circular raised line with 6 evenly interspersed Stars of David. The observe has light scratches and the E in Uber is worn nearly flat.
    overall: | Diameter: 1.125 inches (2.858 cm)
    overall : metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The coin was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2015 by Ilona Winograd Barkal.
    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:
    2024-04-02 11:47:00
    This page:

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