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Passover prayer book inscribed by the brother of a German Kindertransport refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2015.559.3.1

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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Prayer book for the first and second day of Passover that belonged to Lore Baer’s brother Max and is inscribed with his name. Lore was living with her father, Hellmuth, 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.
    Title
    Gebetbuch für Peszachfest
    Alternate Title
    Prayer Book for the Holidays
    Prayer Book for Passover
    Series Title
    Gebetbuch für die Festtage
    Date
    publication:  approximately 1900
    Geography
    publication: Rodelheim (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lore Kirchheimer
    Markings
    spine, gilt, gold leaf: Hebrew characters, 1-2
    Contributor
    Subject: Lore Kirchheimer
    Publisher: Lehrberger & Co.
    Author: Selig P. Bamberger
    Editor: Wolf Heidenheim
    Biography
    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.
    Selig Pinchas Bamberger was born on November 7, 1872, in Lengnau, Switzerland, to Rabbi Salamon Shlomo Bamberger and Leah Adler Bamberger. He earned his doctorate at the University of Heidelberg and was ordained a Rabbi in Berlin in 1896. In 1900, he went to Hamburg where he worked as a rabbi at the Alte und Neue Klaus Synagogue. The synagogue became a prominent place to study the Talmud under Rabbi Bamberger’s tutelage. Bamberger also edited and translated a large number of halakhic, aggadic, and liturgical texts into German. He died on August 9, 1936, in Hamburg, Germany.
    Wolf Heidenheim was born in the town of Heidenheim in Bavaria, Germany, in 1757. At a young age, he traveled to Fürth, to study the Talmud under Joesph Steinhardt and Hirsch Janow. He was a scholar of Hebrew grammar of the Masorah. Heidenheim went to Frankfurt am Main, and became a translator and commentator on Jewish liturgy. He founded a publishing house in Roedelheim in 1799, and the mahzor was one of the first books he printed. Heidenheim was the first publisher to review ancient manuscripts and texts and edit the mahzor accordingly. He died on February 23, 1832, in Rödelheim, Germany.

    Physical Details

    Language
    Hebrew German
    Physical Description
    Book; v. 1-2 (in 1 vol.) v1. Peszachfest (1. und 2. Tag). v2. Peszachfest (7. und 8. Tag).; 100th Edition; v. 1:1-24pp, 1-176pp; v.2: 1-201pp, 1-24pp; 19cm.
    Prayer book bound in black cloth with embossed scrollwork at each of the front corners and two tablets with the Ten Commandments, surrounded by leaves, a harp, horn, and an urn in the center. The book contains two volumes for Passover; one for the first and second days, and one for the seventh and eighth days. The book is part of a five book, nine volume set.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 7.625 inches (19.368 cm) | Width: 5.125 inches (13.017 cm) | Depth: 1.000 inches (2.54 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink, cloth, cardboard, adhesive, gold leaf
    Inscription
    interior, front flyleaf, handwritten script, black ink: Max Baer

    interior, back flyleaf, handwritten script, black ink: Max Baer

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    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
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn539386

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