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Pair of Tefillin and pouch owned by a Romanian Jewish concentration camp survivor

Object | Accession Number: 2006.516.4 a-c

A pair of tefillin and pouch, owned by Mihail Adler, and found in a drawer of the Adler family’s confiscated furniture in Kolozsvár, Hungary (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania), in 1946. A policeman named Grigore Patrascoiu helped Mihail and his son, Otto, find the furniture, which had been stored in the storage shed of a high-ranking Hungarian official. Prior to World War II, Hungary’s alliance with Nazi Germany enabled it to regain previously lost territory. Hungary annexed the northern half of Transylvania, and Cluj, Romania, became Kolozsvár, Hungary. Following the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Otto and his parents, Serena and Mihail, were forced to surrender their property and move into a Jewish ghetto in Kolozsvár’s brickyard. At the end of May, the family was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland. After Otto falsified his age, he and Mihail were selected for forced labor. Serena was killed in the gas chambers. In late June, Otto and Mihail were deported to Longwy-Thil in German-occupied France, and later Kochendorf in Germany, both subcamps of Natzweiler concentration camp. In March 1945, Otto and Mihail were sent to Dachau concentration camp in Germany, which was evacuated in late April. As they were forced southward, Otto and Mihail were liberated by the U.S. Army in the area of the Garmisch-Partenkirchen concentration camp on May 1, 1945. The camp was transformed into a displaced persons (DP) camp and hospital, where Otto served as an official interpreter. In October 1945, Otto and his father returned to their former home and settled there.

use:  before 1944 May
recovered:  1946
recovery: Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Tefillin (lcsh)
Ceremonial objects.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Otto Adler
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 18:01:52
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