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Singer Model 15 sewing machine and table used by Jewish Romanian woman who was massacred

Object | Accession Number: 2017.218.1 a-d

Singer sewing machine mounted on a wooden table with wrought iron legs that Ratza (Reyza) Solomonskaya used to earn her livelihood as a seamstress in the small town of Pepeni, Romania (now Pepeny, Moldova), during the Holocaust. She lived with her husband, a shoemaker named Mark Solomonski, and their teenage daughters, Khayka and Ita. During World War II, their town was in Bessarabia, a historically contested region, which had been part of Romania following World War I until it was ceded to the Soviet Union in June 1940. In June 1941, during the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Romania recaptured the region. On July 13, Romanian soldiers and gendarmes entered Pepeni and began rounding up Jews with the help of some local residents. Ratza left her sewing machine and scissors with neighbors for safekeeping. After being held for four days with no food or water, Ratza, Mark, Khayka, and Ita were among the approximately 250 Jews massacred when their captors and local collaborators opened fire on them. Several days later, a designated commission requisitioned and redistributed the property left behind by the murdered Jews. Ratza’s neighbors already had her sewing machine and it was not among those redistributed items. The family maintained possession of the machine and scissors until they were acquired by the Museum in 2017.

manufacture:  1927
use:  before 1941
manufacture: Clydebank (Scotland)
use: Pepeny (Moldova)
Tools and Equipment
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-03-28 09:44:25
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