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Yom Kippur prayer book given to a German Kindertransport refugee by her father

Object | Accession Number: 2015.559.2.2

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    Brief Narrative
    Prayer book for the first evening and second day of Yom Kippur inscribed with a message to Lore Baer for her 13th birthday by her father, Hellmuth Baer, while he was in Shanghai, China. Lore was living with her father and mother, Hedwig in Mannheim, Germany, when on November 10, 1938, during the Kristallnacht pogrom, German SS officers entered the family’s apartment, destroyed their belongings, arrested Hellmuth, and sent him to Dachau concentration camp. Lore’s mother secured his release in December 1938, and got him passage to Shanghai. In May 1939, Lore was sent to England on a Kindertransport. Lore’s brother Max was studying in Italy, and came to visit her in England. He was arrested as an enemy alien and sent to Australia on board the HMT Dunera. In 1942, while returning to England, his ship was torpedoed, and Max died in the attack. In France, Lore’s mother was sent to Gurs internment camp and then to Drancy transit camp. Later, she was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland where she was murdered on September 2, 1942. Hellmuth died in Shanghai in May 1946 of pleurisy. That same month, Lore immigrated to the United States with the help of relatives. She married Harry Kirchheimer, who was one of 50 children rescued from Vienna by the Kraus family.
    Yom Kippur
    Alternate Title
    Prayers of the Israelites
    Series Title
    Festgebete der Israeliten
    publication:  1928-1941
    commemoration:  1941 October 16
    publication: Rodelheim (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
    received: England
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lore Kirchheimer
    spine, gilt, gold leaf: Festgebete 3-4/Yom Kippur [Prayers 3-4/Yom Kippur]

    front, exterior, cover page, gilt, gold leaf: Festgebete [Prayers]
    Subject: Lore Kirchheimer
    Publisher: Lehrberger & Co.
    Author: Michael Sachs
    Lore Baer (later Lore Kirchheimer) was born on October 16, 1928, in Mannheim, Germany, to a Jewish couple, Hellmuth and Hedwig Wolf Baer. Hellmuth was born on June 18, 1890, in Mannheim, to Max and Henrietta Baer and Hedwig was born on April 6, 1902, in Rastatt, Germany, to Leopold and Mathilde Wolf. Lore had one brother, Max, who was born in Mannheim, on January 22, 1924. Hellmuth was the director of a bank and the family lived in a large apartment. They were an observant Jewish family who kept kosher, attended synagogue, and observed the Shabbat. Lore attended a Jewish school where she learned to read and write in Hebrew. Her brother, Max, attended school in Italy, where he was studying to be a chef.

    After Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in January 1933, anti-Semitic restrictions were passed to restrict Jewish life and isolate them from society. These restrictions eventually resulted in Hellmuth being fired from his job. On November 10, 1938, during Kristallnacht pogrom, German SS officers entered the family’s apartment, destroyed their belongings, and arrested Hellmuth. Lore’s mother visited the police station daily in an effort to find him, and after several weeks learned that he had been taken to Dachau concentration camp where he was given the prisoner number 20370. Hedwig was able to secure his release in late December 1938. Lore recalls that her father was not the same after he returned home, and her mother worked tirelessly to get the family out of Germany. She managed to get passage for Hellmuth to Japanese occupied Shanghai, China, soon after his release, enabled Max to remain in Italy, and arranged for Lore to be sent to England on a Kindertransport.

    In May 1939, Lore was ten years old when her mother put her on the train in Mannheim. She arrived at Liverpool station and was taken in by the Pizers, a working class Jewish family in the East End of London. Lore could speak no English, and the family spoke no German, so the only way they could communicate was through limited Yiddish.

    In response to pubic panic following the fall of France in May 1940, and the evacuation of Dunkirk, the British Government temporarily interned thousands of foreigners. Lore’s brother Max visited her in England. Not long after his arrival he was arrested as an enemy alien and was sent to Australia on July 10, 1940, aboard the HMT Dunera. During the 2 month voyage on the Dunera, Max dealt with extreme overcrowding, mistreatment of prisoners, and torpedo attacks. When he arrived in Australia, Max was held at Hay and Tatura internment camps.

    While living in England, Lore received correspondence from her mother and brother. Her mother Hedwig sent a letter in October, 1940, informing her she was in France, at Gurs internment camp. The final message she received from her mother was in 1942, informing Lore she was going to have an operation. Lore received word from Max that he was to be released and would be returning to England to serve in the British Army. He was traveling to the United Kingdom from Cape Town, South Africa, on the MV Abosso when on October 29, 1942, the ship was torpedoed by a German submarine. He was among the 28 Jewish internees who perished in the attack.

    Lore’s father continued to correspond with her from Shanghai. His letters ceased and in 1946, she received a notice from the Red Cross that he had fallen ill with pleurisy and died on May 19. After the war, Lore continued to look for her mother’s name on survivors’ lists. She eventually discovered that her mother had been taken to Drancy transit camp on August 10, 1942, and then deported to Auschwitz Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland where she was murdered on September 2.

    Lore remained in London and, at the age of 14, completed school and began to work. She received a visa from the Kirchheimer family, distant relatives in the United States, and in May 1946, she sailed to New York aboard the SS Gripsholm. She went to live with her relatives in Chicago, Illinois where she met Harry Weiniger (later Kirchheimer), who was one of the "50 children" rescued from Vienna by the Kraus family and brought to the United States in the spring of 1939 and taken in by the Kirchheimer family. Lore and Harry married in 1949, and settled outside Chicago where they raised three children. Lore was involved in Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization, for over 50 years. Harry died on March 16, 2001, at the age of 72, in Chicago. Lore still resides outside of Chicago.
    Michael Sachs was born on September 3, 1808, in Głogów, Poland. He studied in Germany and earned his doctorate at the University of Berlin in 1836. He was appointed as a rabbi in Prague, Austo-Hungary, that same year. Rabbi Sachs took a position as assistant rabbi in Berlin in 1844. Sachs was modern in some ways, integrating scholarship and preaching, using a choir during services, and giving sermons in German, but he was opposed to Reform Judaism. He contributed to a German translation of the Bible and completed a poetic German-language translation of the machzor that became largely popular. He died on January 31, 1864, in Berlin, Germany.

    Physical Details

    Hebrew German
    Physical Description
    Book; v. 3-4 (in 1 vol.) v. 3: Yom Kippur Abendgebet ; v. 4: Yom Kippur; 28th Edition; v. 3: 1-92pp, I-XLVIIIpp; v.4: 1-565pp; 20.7 cm.
    Prayer book bound in navy blue cloth with gold embossed title in Fraktur font within a gold bordered box on the front cover. The mahzor contains two volumes; one for the first evening of Yom Kippur, and one for the second day. The book is part of a four volume, two book set.
    overall: Height: 8.125 inches (20.638 cm) | Width: 5.375 inches (13.653 cm) | Depth: 1.000 inches (2.54 cm)
    overall : paper, ink, cloth, cardboard, adhesive, gold leaf
    interior, front flyleaf, handwritten script, black ink:
    Our sweetheart dearest daughter and sister/ Lore Baer/ on [?] her 13th birthday – 16th October 1941 – presented in love by her parents and brother./May you pray, dear Lore, in this book, healthy and happy in a long beautiful life, always in most lovely remembrance for your parents and your brother./Grow and prosper [?] Your and our luck./The happiest hope and wishes for our early reunion in health and satisfaction: Your mother: Hedwig Baer born Wolf – born 6 April 1902 - at present in Camp de Gurs -France
    Your father: Hellmuth Baer - born 18th June 1890 - at present Shanghai (China)
    Your brother: Max Baer

    interior, front flyleaf backside, handwritten script, black ink:
    born 22nd January 1924 - at present in a camp in Australia/Shanghai (China) 18th June 1941 on the day of my 51st birthday/
    Your loving Daddy

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    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The prayer book was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2015 by Lore Kirchheimer, the daughter of Hellmuth and Hedwig Baer.
    Record last modified:
    2024-01-08 14:48:26
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