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Prayer book and paper insert acquired by a Czechoslovakian Jewish man

Object | Accession Number: 2018.297.2 a-b

Prayer book and paper insert acquired by Bernat Berkowitz (later, Berk) in Switzerland, while recuperating from tuberculosis between December 1947 and July 1950. Bernat lived with his parents and three younger brothers in Chust, Czechoslovakia, when the region was annexed by Hungary with the aid of Germany in 1939. On April 20, 1944, the entire family (except Bernat’s brother, Herman, who was an apprentice in Budapest) were forced into a ghetto in Chust, and then deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. Bernat’s parents, Regina and Israel, and youngest brother, Isik, were killed soon after their arrival, while Bernat and his brother, Samuel, were separated and both sent to numerous camps. Bernat was sent to Fünfteichen and Mauthausen, where he was liberated by American forces on May 5, 1945. After the war, Bernat reunited with Samuel and Herman in Czechoslovakia. In August, Samuel immigrated to London and then to the United States, while Bernat and Herman lived in the Pocking displaced persons (DP) camp in the American zone of Germany. While there, both brothers contracted tuberculosis and were treated in multiple facilities until they were transferred to the Etania Jewish Sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland, in December 1947. While in Davos, Bernat met Adela (Ada) Kochanski, a fellow Holocaust survivor, who was also receiving treatment for tuberculosis. In the fall of 1948, Bernat married Ada. In 1949, Herman immigrated to Australia, and in 1950, Bernat and Ada followed him there before moving to the United States around 1954.

[in Hebrew characters] Siddur Shalem
publication:  1948 January 13
acquired:  after 1949 January 01-before 1950 July 24
publication: Friedberg (Hesse, Germany)
acquired: Basel (Switzerland)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Steve, Linda, and Amanda Berk
Record last modified: 2023-08-24 14:00:17
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