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Bird head hand puppet created by a German Jewish Holocaust survivor and World War II veteran

Object | Accession Number: 2017.213.6 a-b

Handmade, papier-mâché hand puppet of a bird created by Albert Guenther Hess in New York as a way to cope with his experiences as a Holocaust survivor and soldier in World War II. Albert Guenther Hess’s family owned a successful chemical factory in the town of Pirna, Germany. Albert studied law, but also had a passion for music and film. In 1933, Albert was fired from his legal position in the Ministry of Justice because he was Jewish. He then took a position as a legal advisor for his family’s business. In 1937, he began working in Belgium as a representative for his family’s company. On May 10, 1940, Germany invaded Belgium and Albert, a German national, was arrested by the Belgian police and detained in Saint Cyprien. He was then sent to Gurs, and Les Milles detention camps in France by the Germans. In February 1941, Albert was released, and traveled to Marseilles. He immigrated to the United States and arrived in New York in March 1941. In 1943, Albert was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served as a translator and investigator for the military intelligence unit of the 44th Infantry Division. His unit assisted in the liberation of Dachau where Albert photographed and documented camp atrocities. Afterwards, he acted as a German translator and interviewer for Nazi prisoners, including Hermann Göring. Albert returned to the United States in 1945 and later served as a secretary for the United Nations.

creation:  1956-1957
creation: Queens (New York, N.Y.)
Object Type
Puppets (lcsh)
Hand puppets.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marie Brandes Hammerling
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 17:15:04
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