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Partial card with 16 Dorset-style buttons owned by a Jewish Austrian refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2018.258.7

Partial set of handwoven buttons brought to the United States by Herta Schwarzbart Stoer when she emigrated from Vienna, Austria, in February 1939. The buttons were likely from one of Herta’s family member’s clothing businesses: either lingerie made by her parents, Arthur and Pauline, or children’s clothing made by her sister, Hilda. Herta lived in Vienna with her parents, and four siblings: Hilda, Fritz, Ella, and Hansi. In August 1914, Arthur was selected to fight in World War I, and three months later, he died of tetanus. As a result, Pauline closed the business, Hilda began making children’s clothing, and Fritz, Ella, Herta, and Hansi were sent to an orphanage. Herta was transferred to a boarding school for Jewish orphan girls, where she later returned as a teacher. In 1932, Hansi married and moved to Palestine. In early 1936, Herta began dating Leopold (Leo) Stoer. In June 1937, Pauline passed away. On March 13, 1938, Austria was annexed into Germany. Later that month, Herta and Leo married, but continued to live separately in Vienna. Leo immigrated to the US in September 1938, followed by Herta in February 1939. In September, the couple moved to California, where they began running a chicken farm to raise money to help their families immigrate. As World War II progressed, Herta and Leo lost contact with most family members. Herta later learned that her family members had been deported to concentration camps and killed in 1942 or 1943. Only her sister-in-law, Sidi, and nephew, Paul Schwarzbart, survived in hiding. Leo’s entire family had been deported to concentration camps and killed in 1942.

Date
creation:  approximately 1900-before 1939 February
emigration:  1939 February
Geography
en route: United States
Language
German
Classification
Tools and Equipment
Category
Fasteners
Object Type
Buttons (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Fasteners.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joyce Stoer Cordi
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Record last modified: 2019-12-05 21:26:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn616386