Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Handmade nightgown with floral embroidery worn by an Austrian Jewish girl

Object | Accession Number: 2013.119.2

Nightgown with floral embroidery brought with 3 year old Edith Tennenbaum, her parents Dora and Emil, and her 1 year old brother George when they left Vienna, Austria, in 1939, for the United States. The nightgown was made by hand in Yugoslavia. When Germany annexed Austria in March 1938, Edith and her parents had a comfortable life in Vienna. But soon, Emil's lumber business was confiscated. During the birth of her brother George that August, her mother was not allowed to go to the regular hospital because they were Jewish. During Kristallnacht on November 10, 1938, Emil was arrested and sent to Dachau. The family apartment was sealed, leaving Dora with no diapers, food, or drink for the children. Dora purchased an illegal visa to get Emil released, and then obtained a false Dutch passport so he could escape to Antwerp, Belgium, where he went into hiding. Both sides of the family began leaving for the US where they had relatives. In November 1939, Dora, Edith, and George left for New York, sponsored by Dora’s maternal great aunt. Dora, who had no money and spoke no English, was convinced by her relatives to place the children in a shelter while she found work. Edith was separated from George at the shelter and escaped one night in only her nightgown. She was found and brought back, but the home refused to keep her and made Dora take her back. Emil arrived in January 1940 and the family was reunited.

use:  1939
creation: Yugoslavia
use: Vienna (Austria)
Clothing and Dress
Object Type
Nightgowns (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Edith Ostern
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:11:46
This page: