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Small handmade wooden boot owned by a Yugoslavian family

Object | Accession Number: 2017.609.3

Small, wooden shoe owned by a member of the Gaon family in Yugoslavia during the Holocaust. The Gaon family, Menachem (Mento), his wife Lottie and their son Izzica, lived in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia when Germany and its allies invaded and occupied Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941. Central Yugoslavia, including Sarajevo, was formed into the independent state of Croatia, ruled by the Ustasa. Soon after occupation, Mento and Lottie were arrested and sentenced to fifteen days hard labor. Later that year, the family escaped to the city of Split in the Italian-occupied zone where they would be safe. The Italian authorities treated Jews fairly, and rejected German demands to transfer Jews to German camps. In January 1942, the Italian authorities transferred the family from Split to Hvar Island. While there, Lottie arranged for her niece, Esther Mussafia, whose parents had been killed in concentration camps, to join them. From Hvar, they were transferred to Rab Island and interned in the Rab concentration camp. The Jewish section of Rab was equipped with food, schools, and a library. However, the Slovenian and Croatian section was kept in squalid condition and many prisoners died. In September 1943, after Italy surrendered to the Allies, the prisoners revolted and liberated themselves. Mento and Lottie then joined a partisan group and the family lived in the forests of the Velebit Mountain range, until the war’s end. In 1948, the Gaons immigrated to Israel.

Date
acquired:  before 1941 April 06
Geography
use: Yugoslavia
Classification
Decorative Arts
Category
Woodwork
Genre/Form
Novelty works.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Yaffa Gaon
 
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:26:28
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn596759