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Prayer Hebrew prayer book, carried to Ecuador by a German Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2016.538.7

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    Brief Narrative
    Die Thora und die Sprache book, owned by Horst Abraham and carried from Germany to Ecuador in the late 1930s. Following Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, anti-Jewish decrees and persecution made life in Germany increasingly difficult. Horst Abraham immigrated to Ecuador from Leipzig, Germany, in 1937, after hearing a rumor that he might be arrested. Horst's parents, Nanette and David, and one of his two brothers, Kurt, joined him there later. In 1942, Horst met Ilse Brilling, who immigrated to Chambo, Ecuador in 1939 with her parents, Hedwig and Isidor, and older sister, Hilde. Ilse’s father died in 1939, and the family moved to Quito in 1942. Ilse married Horst on March 3, 1944, and they had their first child in 1946. Ilse, Horst, and their other family members living in Ecuador immigrated to the United States in the mid-to-late 1940s and settled in the New York City area. Horst changed his name to Harry, and got a job working in a meatpacking factory owned by his distant relatives. Many members of their extended families were not able to escape from Europe and died during the Holocaust.
    Die Thora und die Sprache
    Das erste Buch Moses
    The first book of Moses
    Sefer Breishit
    The Book of Genesis
    Alternate Title
    ha-Torah v'ha-Lashon
    The Torah and the Language
    Series Title
    Chamisha Chumshei Torah
    The Five Books of the Torah
    emigration:  1937
    publication:  1930
    publication: Vienna (Austria)
    use: Leipzig (Germany)
    en route: Ecuador.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ruth Abraham
    front cover and title page, printed, black ink : [Hebrew characters] / (Die Thora und die Sprache.) / Das erste Buch Moses.— [Hebrew characters] / Vollständiger Text mit deutscher Übersetzung nach Methode der / korrespondierenden Zeilen, einem sprachlehrlichen Anhange und mit / einer systematischen Leselehre der Raschi-Schrift. / Zum Schulgebrauche bearbeitet / von / Rudolf Fuchs. / Dreißigste Auflage. / Wien 1930. / Verlag von Moritz Perles / I, Seilergasse Nr. 4. / Früher im k. k. Schulbücher-Verlage. [(Chamisha Chumshei Torah / ha-Torah v'ha-Lashon / Das erste Buch Moses – Sefer Breishit) The Five Books of the Torah / The Torah and the Language / (The Torah and the Language) / The first book of Moses— The Book of Genesis / Complete text with German translation according to the method of the / corresponding lines, a linguistic appendices and / a systematic reading of the Raschi script. / Edited for school use / by / Rudolf Fuchs / Thirtieth Edition / Vienna 1930. Publisher of Moritz Perles / I, Seilergasse No. 4. / Formerly in the k.k. school books publishers]

    back cover, top, printed, black ink : Von demselben Verfasser sind dim gleichen Verlage folgende / hebräische Lehrmittel erschienen und vom Verlag sowie durch alle Buchhandlungen zu beziehen: [The same author has published the following Hebrew teaching materials in the same publisher and can be obtained from the publisher and from all bookstores:]

    back cover, bottom, printed, black ink : Brüder Hollinek, Wien, III Steingasse 25. [Brothers Hollinek, Vienna, III Steingasse 25.]
    Subject: Horst Abraham
    Editor: Rudolf Fuchs
    Publisher: Moritz Perles
    Publisher: Verlag Brüder Hollinek
    Horst Abraham (1917-2003) was born in Leipzig, Germany, to Nanette (nee, Neumeyer, 1881-1960) and David (1881-1958) Abraham. He had two brothers, Kurt (1910-2005) and Max (?-1998). Horst lived in Leipzig until he heard a rumor that he might be arrested, and immigrated to Ecuador in 1937. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland; two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany, beginning World War II. Emigrating from Europe became increasingly difficult, as few nations were accepting Jewish refugees, and there was little opportunity to help those left behind. Horst’s parents were able to join him the following year, arriving in December 1940, via Japan and Panama. Kurt also followed them there, while Max immigrated to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he married.

    In Ecuador’s capital, Quito, the immigrant community was very close-knit. They had a clubhouse called the Beneficiencia, which served as a major center of Jewish life, with a restaurant, card rooms, dances, and plays. The immigrants in Quito also had many businesses, movie theaters, a sports club, and a dance club. Horst worked for a time as a waiter at the ‘Beni’ before obtaining a job in a small German delicatessen, where he met Ilse Brilling (1927-2016). Ilse had immigrated to Chambo, Ecuador in 1939 with her parents, Hedwig (1891-1959) and Isidor (1895-1939), and sister, Hilde (1923-2010). Isidor died in December 1939, and the family moved twice before settling in Quito in 1942. Like other immigrant families, the Brillings shopped at the delicatessen regularly, and Horst eventually asked Ilse on a date. After a year of courtship, the couple got engaged. They married the following year on March 3, 1944. Ilse had worked as an apprentice in a beauty parlor and then began doing hair and manicures in private homes. Horst took over management of the delicatessen where he worked.

    Germany surrendered to the Allied forces on May 7, 1945, ending the war in Europe. That September, Japan surrendered, ending the war in the Pacific. In May 1946, Host’s sister-in-law, Hilde, and her husband immigrated to the United States, settling in Brooklyn, New York. That same year, Horst’s brother, Kurt, and his family immigrated to the United States, and Ilse and Horst’s first child, Ruth, was born in Ecuador. That August, his mother-in-law’s sister and niece, Claire Brummer and Ingeborg Majewski, joined them in Quito, having survived the war in France. Horst’s parents, David and Nannette, immigrated to the United States in July 1947; Hedwig and Claire immigrated followed in November. Horst and Ilse sold their deli and followed in 1948. Horst changed his name to Harry, and they settled near their families in Brooklyn, New York. Ilse got a job as a manicurist, while Harry worked in a meatpacking factory owned by distant relatives. In 1951, they had a son, Stephen.

    Physical Details

    German Hebrew
    Object Type
    Prayer books (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Book; 324 p; 20 cm.
    German and Hebrew prayer book with a tan, cardboard cover and black, imitation leather spine. The title page is duplicated on the front cover, and the back cover features a list of other titles from the same editor and publisher. The spine is separating from the pages on the interior, and the covers and page edges are heavily stained and discolored. An inscription from the former owner is handwritten on the interior of the cover.
    overall: Height: 8.000 inches (20.32 cm) | Width: 5.500 inches (13.97 cm) | Depth: 0.750 inches (1.905 cm)
    overall : cardboard, paper, ink, imitation leather
    inside front cover, handwritten, black ink : Horst Abraham

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The prayer book was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by Ruth Abraham, the daughter of Ilse and Horst Abraham.
    Record last modified:
    2023-05-24 15:46:33
    This page:

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