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Monogrammed silver napkin rings owned by a German Rabbi

Object | Accession Number: 2018.290.2 a-b

Pair of silver napkin rings, engraved with the initials of Martha and her husband Rabbi George Wilde, who fled Germany in 1939. Rabbi Dr. Georg Wilde attended the Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), and received a doctorate in 1901. He married Breslau-born Martha Spitz, and the couple moved to Magdeburg. In 1906, Georg began serving as rabbi for the largest of Magdeburg’s three congregations, the Synagogen-Gemeinde zu Magdeburg. During World War I, Georg served as a field rabbi and presided over both Jewish and interfaith burials. While in Magdeburg, Georg functioned as an integral leader of the Jewish community, and belonged to a number of Jewish organizations and welfare associations. The morning following Kristallnacht in November 1938, Georg was arrested and learned that his synagogue had been targeted for destruction. Holy texts were burned, valuables looted, and explosives ignited inside. He was soon imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp. While on the train to Buchenwald, Georg threw postcards addressed to his wife out the window at multiple stops, one of which made it back to her. After eleven days of harsh treatment, lack of nourishment, and poor sanitary conditions, Georg was released on the condition that he would prepare to emigrate from Germany. During Georg’s imprisonment, Martha contacted the Chief Rabbi in London, who aided their passage to England in March 1939. The couple lived in Middlesex county and Cambridge, and became active in their new Jewish community.

Date
use:  before 1959
Geography
use: Europe
Classification
Household Utensils
Category
Tableware
Object Type
Napkin rings (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Silverware.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Elizabeth Irene Newhouse
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Record last modified: 2019-04-12 08:14:37
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn619190