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Large doll with long blond hair given to a former hidden child by her father when reunited postwar

Object | Accession Number: 2013.459.1

Large doll with a gingham dress, acquired later, given to 7 year old Elzbieta Lusthaus as a gift from her father Edmund when they were reunited after four years apart in September 1945 in Ancona, Italy. It was the first doll Elzbieta ever owned. The family was separated when the war began in September 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany. Dr. Lusthaus had enlisted in the Polish Army and was with his parents in Stryj when he was captured by the Soviets and sent to a prisoner of war labor camp in Siberia. Elzbieta, her mother, and her maternal grandmother Sophie Schiff were confined to the Tarnow ghetto. During a deportation action in June 1942, the SS came and took Sophie away, while Elzbieta hid. Helena and Elzbieta went into hiding aided by Christian friends. Helena obtained false identities for them and when the Germans decreed that Tarnow would soon be Judenfrei, they fled in April 1943 for Milanowek. They lived as Polish Catholics, Barbara and Maria Stachura, sheltered by Kazimierz and Genowefa Bandyrowa and their daughters, a Catholic family. The area was liberated in January 1945. In May, Helena had them smuggled into Czechoslovakia. The family was reunited after a doctor recognized Helena in a displaced persons camp in Munich. He told her Edmund was alive and Edmund sent an ambulance to bring them to Italy. He had been released from the Soviet prison in 1941 and joined the volunteer Polish Army of the East, known as Anders Army, which became the 2nd Polish Corps, British Army. The family emigrated to England in December 1946.

received:  1945 September
received: Ancona (Italy)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Elizabeth Lusthaus Strassburger
Record last modified: 2021-12-15 14:05:50
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