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Blanket from Foehrenwald displaced persons camp

Object | Accession Number: 1992.167.1

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    Brief Narrative
    Blanket bought by Charlene Schiff with cigarettes which she received in Joint Distribution Committee packages during her internment at Foehrenwald diplaced persons camp, near Munich, Germany.
    found:  1945
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Charlene Schiff. To honor the memory of my beloved parents and sister - Simcha, Frume, and Tchyja Perlmutter who perished in the Holocaust
    Subject: Charlene P. Schiff
    Charlene Perlmutter Schiff (1929-2013, nicknamed Musia) was born Shulamit Perlmutter in Horochów, Wolyn Poland (Horokhiv, Ukraine) on 16 December 1929 to Simcha Perlmutter and Fruma Lieberman. Her father, Simeon Perlmutter (Simcha,1900-1941) was a philosophy professor in Lvov (L’viv, Ukraine) at the Jan Kazimierz University (Ivan Franko National University of Lviv). Her mother, Fruma Lieberman (b. 1905), was an educator and ran summer camps for poor children in the city. Charlene had one sister, Tchiya (b. 1925). Simcha’s mother and five sisters immigrated to the United States before World War II, and he had begun making plans for his family to emigrate from Poland prior to the outbreak of war.

    After the German and Soviet Union invasion of Poland in September 1939, Horochów was occupied by the Russians. In June 1941 Germany declared war on the Soviet Union, and Horochów was occupied by German soldiers on 24 June 1941. Her father Simcha perished after the German occupation, likely in the roundup and execution of 300 Jewish men by the Gestapo and Ukrainian police on 12 August 1941. A ghetto was established in November 1941, and the Germans began conscripting Jews for forced-labor, including Charlene’s mother and sister. Charlene was exempt from forced-labor because she was under 14.

    In 1942, her mother Fruma heard rumors that the ghetto would soon be liquidated, and she made arrangements with several non-Jewish friends to hide herself and her two daughters in nearby Skobelka. Tchiya was to hide in one place, and Charlene and her mother in another. They escaped the ghetto via an unguarded shack on the river. Tchiya left first. Charlene learned after the war that her sister Tchiya was captured and returned to the ghetto where she was tortured and killed.

    The Horochów ghetto was liquidated on 14 September 1942, and Charlene and Fruma, among others, began to flee the night before. Many were shot, and Charlene and her mother hid in the bulrushes. Charlene was in and out of consciousness, and at some point her mother disappeared. Charlene survived the liquidation, and spent the duration of the war hiding in the forest until liberation by the Soviet Red Army in June 1944. She never learned the fate of her mother.

    After liberation, Charlene recovered in a Soviet Army hospital. She was unsuccessful in finding any surviving family members, and eventually made her way to Germany where she lived in several displaced persons camps including Föhrenwald and Bensheim. She also attended the University of Heidelberg for a year. Charlene was able to contact her paternal relatives in the United States, and immigrated there in 1948 with their assistance. She settled in Columbus, Ohio. She married Erwin (Ed) Schiff, a World War II veteran who served in the Pacific theater, in 1951. They had one son, Stephen.

    Physical Details

    Furnishings and Furniture
    Household linens
    Object Type
    Blankets (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Machine woven in reversible geometric two color pattern of white and tan.
    overall: Height: 55.000 inches (139.7 cm) | Width: 68.000 inches (172.72 cm)
    overall : cotton

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Administrative Notes

    The blanket was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1992 by Charlene Schiff.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:21:50
    This page:

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