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Brown leather belt worn by a Dutch Jewish political prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau

Object | Accession Number: 2017.608.3

Leather belt worn by Arie Torner during his internment in various ghettos, labor camps, and concentration camps in German-occupied Poland from October 1941 through May 8, 1945. While being held, Arie had to add seven hand-cut holes to the belt to compensate for all of the weight he lost due to malnutrition and the small quantity of food provided to prisoners. Arie was born in Wloclawek, Poland, but was living with his family in Rotterdam, Netherlands by 1940. His parents Chaim and Malka, his sister, and his five brothers were all killed when the German Luftwaffe bombed the city on May 14, 1940. Following the Netherlands surrender, Arie joined the underground Dutch resistance movement. He was arrested in Poland in October 1941, and sent to Kowale Panskie ghetto. Afterwards, Arie was sent to the Swarsedz labor camp, where he built railroad tracks for a German firm. He was transported to Auschwitz concentration camp in August 1943, where he was subjected to medical experiments led by Josef Mengele. When Arie was not undergoing experiments, he was forced to work in the Janina coal mine at Janinagrube, a subcamp of Auschwitz. As Soviet troops advanced on the camp, the SS sent Arie and the other Janinagrube prisoners on a forced march to Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Germany. Soviet troops liberated Gross-Rosen on May 8. After liberation, Arie spent two years at a displaced persons camp before returning to the Netherlands in 1947. Arie immigrated to the United States on May 24, 1956.

Date
use:  approximately 1941 October-approximately 1945 May 08
Geography
use: Kowale Panskie (Poland)
use: Poznan (Poland)
use: Auschwitz (Concentration camp); Oswiecim (Poland)
use: Janinagrube (Concentration camp); Libiaz (Poland)
use: Gross-Rosen (Concentration camp); Rogoznica (Wojewodztwo Dolnoslaskie, Poland)
Classification
Dress Accessories
Category
Belts (Clothing)
Genre/Form
Belts (Clothing)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Louis Widawski in Memory of Arie Torner
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Record last modified: 2019-07-19 13:54:47
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn594797