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Hanukkah menorah with fish shaped feet that was used in the Tarnow Ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 1991.82.1

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    Hanukkah menorah with fish shaped feet that was used in the Tarnow Ghetto

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    Brief Narrative
    Hanukiyah used in the Tarnow ghetto between March 1941 and September 1943. This Hanukiyah is an industrial menorah similar in design and composition to several made by Johannes Rominger in Stuttgart, Germany. A Hanukkah candelabrum holds eight candles for the eight nights of Hanukkah; the ninth candle is the Shamash [attendant] that is used to light the other candles. Because of their religious significance, the Hanukkah lights cannot be used for everyday needs, such as providing light. Traditionally, menorah refers only to the original seven branched lamp that stayed lit in the Temple; the nine branched candelabrum is a hanukiyah or Hanukkah lamp. Tarnow, Poland, was occupied by Nazi Germany in September 1939. Jews were placed under heavy restrictions, were forced to turn over their valuables, and were required to wear Stars of David to identify themselves. In March 1941, a Jewish ghetto was established in Tarnow, and 3 months later it was sealed off from the rest of the city. There was very little food in the overcrowded ghetto and Jews were regularly rounded up to serve in forced labor details. In June 1942, German authorities began deporting Jews to Belzec killing center and rounding up 7,000 others to be shot in the Jewish cemetery and the nearby forest as part of a large Aktion. In September 1943, the remaining 10,000 Jews in Tarnow were transported to Auschwitz and Płaszów concentrations camps and the city was declared “free of Jews.”
    use:  1941 March-1943 September
    manufacture:  1910-1941
    use: Tarnow ghetto; Tarnow (Wojewodztwo Malopolskie, Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection

    Physical Details

    Jewish Art and Symbolism
    Object Type
    Hanukkah lamp (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Nine-branched, brass candelabra with a thin, plated layer of silver-colored metal and a stepped, circular base raised on three sinuous, fish-shaped feet anchored to the bottom. Their large heads with oversize lips provide support, while their tails flip up and coil overhead to add a decorative accent. At the center of the base is a four-inch-high, cylindrical stem ringed by five evenly spaced, thick metal bands and a tapered finial. A series of nine, thin, branches extend perpendicularly from the bands: a single branch, toward the front, from the bottom band, and two branches, one to each side, from the other four bands. The branches extend horizontally and then curve upward at a right angle, with a goblet-shaped candle holder or screwed to the top of each. The cups are level with one another, just above the height of the stem’s finial. The branches extending from the top band are the shortest, and each set of branches extending from the lower bands get longer and taller at a graduated rate to keep the height of the candle cups the same. The front branch is lower than the others and supports the Shamash [attendant], the ninth candle that is used to light all the others. One side branch is loose and the tarnished coating is flaking off throughout.
    overall: Height: 6.500 inches (16.51 cm) | Width: 7.500 inches (19.05 cm) | Depth: 3.500 inches (8.89 cm)
    overall : brass, metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The Hanukiyah was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-20 11:45:46
    This page:

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