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Leather bi-fold wallet with two photographs glued inside owned by a German Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2018.340.2

Leather wallet, with two photos adhered inside, used by Erich Marcus. The photos are of Erich’s parents, Emil and Margarethe. Both parents were unable to escape Germany during the Holocaust and chose to end their own lives in 1940, rather than allow the Nazis to deport them to the killing centers in the East. Erich’s family owned a successful houseware factory in Prenzlau, Germany. Erich lived with his wife Phyllis and two children, Heinrich and Lilo. Erich’s parents, his sister, and her two children lived in Prenzlau as well. After Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, the Marcus family’s business was taken from them and their children were no longer allowed to attend public school. In 1937, the Nazi authorities caught nine-year-old Heinrich playing in a playground that Jews had been barred from and shot him. The bullet struck his head, but did not seriously injure him. In 1939, Erich was arrested and was only released after he guaranteed that he would pay a large bribe, and leave the country. Later that year Erich and his family escaped to Cuba, and then immigrated to the United States in 1941. Erich’s sister, Charlotte, hid under a false identity in Danzig for the duration of the war. Her two children, Walther and Susanne, escaped to England and were joined by Charlotte after the conclusion of the war. Many extended family members who could not escape were killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German occupied Poland.

depiction:  1940
depiction: Germany
Dress Accessories
Object Type
Wallets (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Deborah Marcus Masters
Record last modified: 2021-03-09 09:12:51
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