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Deggendorf displaced persons camp scrip, 1 dollar note, acquired by a former German Jewish prisoner

Object | Accession Number: 2016.496.13

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    Deggendorf displaced persons camp scrip, 1 dollar note, acquired by a former German Jewish prisoner

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    Brief Narrative
    Scrip, valued at 1 dollar, distributed to Heinz Frankenstein while he lived in the Deggendorf displaced persons (DP) camp after World War II. Heinz, his mother, and two of his sisters were deported from Berlin to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in June 1942. In 1943, Heinz was among 250 young men deported to Wulkow near Berlin for a work detail. After a year, Heinz returned to the ghetto to find that his mother and sisters were gone; all but one of his sisters was deported to and killed at Auschwitz. Heinz was then deported to the town of Hof in Germany for a month, before being force marched back to Theresienstadt. He reunited with his sister, Inge, and they were liberated by the Soviet army on May 9. Heinz and Inge went to Deggendorf DP camp in the American-occupied zone of Germany in June 1945. On August 23, 1945, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) Team 55 took over management of the poorly run camp. They stabilized the food supply, secured housing facilities, established a community newspaper, and fostered a cultural life with lectures, concerts, and performances. The camp administration introduced currency, set up a banking system, and established a canteen to purchase items. These amenities provided Heinz with a comfortable life until the quota system allowed him to depart Deggendorf for the United States in June 1946, and changed his name to Henry Frank. Henry belonged to a social circle with other Holocaust survivors, including Irene Silberstein, who he married in April 1948. They had two children and regularly gave talks about their experiences during the Holocaust.
    issue:  after 1945 November 05
    received:  1945 November 05-1949 June 15
    issue: Deggendorf (Displaced persons camp); Deggendorf (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Irene Frank
    face, center, printed, blue ink : ONE DOLLAR / * / DEGGENDORF / JEWISH COMMUNITY / TREASURER
    face, upper left corner, printed, blue ink : 1
    face, upper right corner, printed, blue ink : 1
    face, lower right corner, printed, blue ink : 1
    face, lower left corner, printed, blue ink : 1
    reverse, center, printed, blue ink : ONE DOLLAR
    reverse, upper left corner, printed, blue ink : 1
    reverse, upper right corner, printed, blue ink : 1
    reverse, lower right corner, printed, blue ink : 1
    reverse, lower left corner, printed, blue ink : 1
    Subject: Henry Frank
    Issuer: Deggendorf Jewish Committee
    Henry Frank (1918-2002) was born Heinz Frankenstein in Berlin, Germany to Jakob (1888-1942) and Anna (nee Zydower, 1891-1944) Frankenstein. Heinz had four sisters: Dorothea (later Jastrow, 1914-1977), Irene (later Gratz, 1915-1944), Gerda (later Anschel, 1916-1942), and Inge (1925-1997). Jakob was injured fighting for Germany in World War I. He earned the Iron Cross for his service, but illness combined with his injuries made it difficult for him to work afterwards. As a result, the family was poor, and Anna had to work cleaning graves in a Jewish cemetery. As a child, Heinz was artistic and played the accordion and violin. The family was not very religious, but celebrated the major Jewish holidays. They lived in a mixed-religion neighborhood, and had many Gentile friends. Heinz always identified more strongly as German than Jewish, and never experienced antisemitism until 1933.

    On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Anti-Jewish decrees were passed that restricted every aspect of Jewish life. Heinz was forced to leave his public school, and he and his sisters began working to help support the family. He worked carrying coal in his neighborhood and later in a war supplies factory. In September 1939, in accordance with the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact, Germany and Russia invaded Poland. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Heinz’s sister, Dorothea, her husband, and two children had fled for England earlier that summer, but the rest of the family were unable to leave Berlin. In April 1942, Gerda and her family were deported to the Warsaw Ghetto, and then to the Baltic region, where they were killed. Following the assassination attempt on General Reinhard Heydrich in Prague on May 27, 1942, Jakob was among 50 Jewish men who were rounded up in Berlin by the Gestapo. Jakob and the other men were transported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, lined up against a brick wall, and shot. Within the week, unaware of their father’s fate, Heinz, Inge, Irene, and Anna were deported to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. Heinz was assigned to work as a men’s nurse in the ghetto hospital, and helped take care of patients’ daily needs. He was later transferred to work at a mental institution.

    In 1944, Heinz was among a group of young men deported to Wulkow near Berlin to build barracks for the Gestapo. They were beaten by the SS and promised that their good behavior would save their relatives in Theresienstadt from transport to the East. Irene had gotten sick and was deported to Auschwitz in October 1944. Anna volunteered to go along with her. A few days later, Inge was given permission to follow her mother, but by the time she arrived, Anna and Irene had been killed in the gas chambers. On October 27, Inge was deported to Oederan, a subcamp of Flossenbürg, where she was a forced laborer in a munitions factory. After a year in Wulkow, Heinz returned to Theresienstadt to find that his mother and sisters were gone.

    After four weeks in Theresienstadt, Heinz was deported to a camp near the town of Hof in Germany, where he renovated housing. After a month, Heinz and a group of nearly 200 prisoners were force-marched six days and nights back to Theresienstadt. Many people died on the march, but the group arrived on April 20, 1945. There, Heinz reunited with his sister, Inge—whose shaved head and dirty appearance made her unrecognizable—the following day. She was transported there following the evacuation of Oederan on April 14. Theresienstadt was liberated by the Soviet army on May 9, but a Typhus epidemic prevented Heinz and Inge from leaving immediately after liberation. Once he could leave, Heinz traveled to Berlin to find his mother, unaware she had died in Auschwitz. He returned to his sister in Theresienstadt, and they were picked up by the American army and taken to Deggendorf displaced persons (DP) camp. On the way, the trucks were involved in an accident, leaving Heinz with broken ribs and a short hospital stay.

    Heinz and Inge arrived at Deggendorf in June 1945, and stayed there until June 1946, when he immigrated to the United States. After arriving in New York City, the American Joint Distribution Committee put the refugees up in the Hotel Marseilles, and Heinz changed his name to Henry Frank. He could not speak English at first, but got a job working as a machinist at a factory in White Plains, a short distance from the city. He later got a job working in wholesale meat distribution. While living in New York, Henry belonged to a social circle with other Holocaust survivors. Every couple of weeks they would go to the piers to meet the arriving ships, and every Sunday they would go to Coney Island. Among this circle was Irene Silberstein (b. 1927), who he had met briefly while in Deggendorf. Henry and Irene married in April 1948, went on to have two children, and moved to New Jersey. They regularly visited local schools and gave talks about their experiences during the Holocaust.

    Inge remained in Deggendorf until September 1946, when she immigrated to England. She then joined her sister, Dorothea, who lived on a small farm in Scotland with her husband and children. Inge immigrated to the United States in November 1949. Later, Dorothea and her family also came to the United States.

    Physical Details

    Exchange Media
    Object Type
    Scrip (aat)
    Physical Description
    Deggendorf scrip printed on rectangular, off-white paper in blue ink. On the face is a border of wavy lines, and in each corner two branching arcs topped by a cross surround the denomination. In the center are 4 lines of text and a small blue star; in the lower right corner is a handwritten signature in black ink and a hand stamp in red ink. The stamp consists of a ring with text surrounding a smaller circle with 3 lines of text inside. The reverse has a line of text in the center and the denomination in numerals in each corner. There is a center vertical crease and bleed through on the face from the blue ink. There are deep vertical creases at the center and left end and two corners are folded. The right edge is worn, and there is brown and red staining at the center of the back.
    overall: Height: 2.625 inches (6.668 cm) | Width: 6.250 inches (15.875 cm)
    overall : paper, ink
    face, left side, stamped, red ink : Jewish Co…ittee / D. P. / Camp 7 / Deggendorf
    face, lower right corner, signed, blue ink : [illegible]

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The scrip was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by Irene Frank.
    Record last modified:
    2023-09-22 10:47:44
    This page:

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