Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Wooden toy bus owned by a Czechoslovakian Jewish girl

Object | Accession Number: 2016.220.2 a-b

Wooden toy bus given to Renate Pollatschek (later Renata Polt) by her parents in the 1930s when they were living in Ústí nad Labem, Czechoslovakia. The bus is a German toy with “Eilkraftwagen” painted on the sides, rather than “Autobus.” The new word was likely created by the Nazi party to replace foreign words like “Autobus” in the German language. Renate lived with her parents, Friedrich and Elisabeth, her older brother, Hans, and her paternal grandmother, Henriette. She was less than a year old when Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. Friedrich, was concerned about Hitler’s anti-Jewish policies, so when he found out that German troops were gathering at the border in September 1938, he decided to get his family out of Czechoslovakia. On September 11, 6-year-old Renate left with her brother and their parents for Lucerne, Switzerland. Her grandmother, Henriette, came to visit and Friedrich tried to convince her to stay with them, but she refused. In April 1939, the family left Switzerland for Havana, Cuba, before settling permanently in the United States in September 1940. The family stayed in contact with Henriette through letters. She eventually decided to emigrate, but was never able to get the required paperwork to leave. After the war, Renate and her family found out that Henriette had been transported to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia on July 13, 1942, and then deported to Treblinka II killing center in German-occupied Poland on October 19, where she was murdered.

received:  after 1933-before 1938 September 11
received: Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic)
Wooden toys
Object Type
Wooden toys (lcsh)
Model vehicles.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Renata Polt
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:24:08
This page: