Skirt made by a German Jewish woman to demonstrate her sewing capabilities
after 1936-before 1941
Clothing and Dress
- Object Type
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Michael Hillelsohn
Maroon wool sampler skirt made by Elfriede Hillelsohn in Hamburg, Germany, to prove her sewing skills prior to her work in a Nazi uniform factory. Elfriede trained as a seamstress in Weener, Germany, before moving to Hamburg in 1936. While in Hamburg, Elfriede belonged to a German-Jewish youth movement where she met and soon became engaged to Kurt Hillelsohn. After Kristallnacht in November 1938, Kurt immigrated to the United States and Elfriede and her mother moved in with his family. During this time, Elfriede worked as a forced laborer in a German uniform factory. With financial support from Kurt, Elfriede and her mother were finally able to escape Germany in 1941, and arrived in New York City on June 13. Elfriede and Kurt married that September. Kurt was later drafted by the U.S. Army and stationed stateside. He served as part of the “Ritchie Boys,” a group that included many German-Jewish refugees who were recruited for their knowledge of the German language and culture, and received special training at the Military Intelligence Training Center at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. Kurt’s mother and brother, who Elfriede lived with before her emigration, remained in Hamburg until they were deported to the Minsk ghetto, where they perished.
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:26:11
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn563773
Also in Elfriede Gerson Hillelsohn collection
The collection consists of a skirt, passport, and documents relating to the experiences of Elfriede Gerson before and during the Holocaust in Hamburg, Germany and her immigration to the United States.
Contains a Reisepass and other documents related to Elfriede Gerson (donor's mother), who was living in Hamburg and immigrated to the United States in 1941, where she married her fiancee Kurt Hillelsohn who had arrived in November 1938.