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Yellow damask purse made by a liberated slave labor camp inmate, saved by another inmate

Object | Accession Number: 1995.A.0989.2

Handmade damask linen handbag saved by Esther Lurie. It was made in February 1945 by her tentmate and fellow prisoner, name unknown, soon after they were liberated from Leibisch slave labor camp in Lubicz, Poland. The woman died not long after. Esther kept the bag, but she never used it, or even washed it. Esther, a professional artist, originally from Liepaja, Latvia, settled in Palestine in 1934. She was visiting her sister in Kovno (Kaunus), Lithuania, in summer 1941 when it was occupied by Germany. She was confined to the ghetto and had to create portraits and paintings for the Germans. She also, at the request of the Jewish Council, dedicated herself to recording the daily life of the residents. In July 1944,the ghetto was liquidated. Esther was sent to Stutthof concentration camp, where she continued to draw. Her family members were sent to Auschwitz and murdered. In August 1944, she was deported to Leibisch, which was liberated by the Soviet Army on January 21, 1945. During the journey back to Palestine, she lived in a displaced persons camp in Italy, where an exhibition of her drawings of Leibisch was held.

creation:  1945 February
creation: Leibisch (Concentration camp) afer liberation; Lubicz (Poland)
Dress Accessories
Object Type
Handbags (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Esther Lurie
Record last modified: 2021-03-08 16:25:40
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