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Embroidered Girl Scout uniform sash and membership pin owned by a Jewish Yugoslavian girl

Object | Accession Number: 2016.497.2 a-b

Green Girl Scout sash with embroidered gold trefoils and gold colored trefoil pin owned by Rut Hendel (later Tamar Hendel-Fishman) in Oswego, New York, between 1944-1946. Rut was a young girl living in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, with her parents and older brother, David, when Germany and Italy, supported by their allies, invaded. Zagreb was made the capital of the German puppet state, the Independent Sate of Croatia. The ruling party, called the Ustaša, persecuted and murdered ethnic Serbs and Jews, forcing Rut’s family to flee to the Italian occupied zone. After the Ustaša murdered Rut’s uncle and grandfather, the family fled to Rovigo, Italy. In September 1943, Germany invaded northern Italy and began deporting Jews to the east. Rut and her family escaped to Rome where they lived under false identities until liberation. In July 1944, Rut and her family came to the United States aboard the USNS Henry Gibbins. They lived in the Fort Ontario Refugee Shelter, an old army camp that was repurposed as an emergency shelter by the war Refugee Board. Rut and other girls in the camp joined the girl scouts as a social activity to help acclimate the refugees to American life. Rut’s mother, Hana, worked in the camp kitchen. The family stayed at Fort Ontario until February 1946, when they were granted legal entry into the United States and settled in New York City.

received:  1944 August-1946
received: Fort Ontario (N.Y.)
Identifying Artifacts
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Tamar Hendel-Fishman
Record last modified: 2022-04-28 15:34:35
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