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Curtain that was used as a towel found by a Polish Jewish forced laborer

Object | Accession Number: 2018.208.1

Curtain found by Paula Dash while she was a forced laborer in the city of Bremen, Germany, from 1944-1945. Paula found the curtain in a basement, hid it in her bosom and used it as a towel in the mornings. Later, while living in Bergen-Belsen displaced person’s camp, she used it as a table cloth. Paula was living in Lodz, Poland, with her family when Germany invaded on September 1, 1939. A week later, German forces occupied the city and quickly established an enclosed Jewish ghetto in the city. Paula, her parents, and three siblings all lived in one small room. Her younger brother Henry, became very sick and in 1942, her father, Aron, died from starvation. Paula was a forced laborer in a sewing factory, working ten to fourteen hour days. In August 1944, Paula, her mother, and two brothers were forced into cattle cars and transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center. Upon arrival they were examined and separated. While waiting to enter the gas chamber, Paula was selected for a forced labor detail in Bremen-Obernheide, a sub camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp in Germany. She spent nine months clearing rubble from Allied bombing. In the spring of 1945, Paula was sent on a death march to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She was liberated there on April 15, 1945, by British forces. While in the camp she contracted typhus, but recovered in a British hospital. She later married another survivor and immigrated to the United States.

Title
Dash family collection
Date
1944 August-1945 April  (found)
Geography
found : Bremen (Germany)
Classification
Furnishings and Furniture
Category
Household linens
Object Type
Draperies (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Textiles.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum collection, gift of Allison Nazarian
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Record last modified: 2019-02-11 06:58:59
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn599807