Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Passport holder, carried to Ecuador by a German Jewish woman

Object | Accession Number: 2019.18.2

Passport case belonging to Hedwig Brilling and carried from Rastenburg, Germany to Ecuador in 1939. Following Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, anti-Jewish decrees and persecution made life in Germany increasingly difficult. Early in 1939, Isidor acquired visas for the family to immigrate to Uruguay. Shortly thereafter, their house, accounts, and assets were seized by the government, and they lost the crates of belongings they had shipped to South America. Shortly before leaving, however, they were notified that their visas were forgeries. After several weeks of visiting consulates, Isidor was able to obtain visas for Ecuador. They sailed from Hamburg, Germany, in May 1939, and were given second-class cabins, even though they had paid for first-class. They settled in a village called Chambo, and tried to make a living farming, but Isidor died in December of that year. Hedwig and her daughters moved multiple times before settling in Quito in 1942. While in Ecuador, both daughters married. In May 1946, Hilde and her husband immigrated to the United States, and in August, Hedwig’s sister and niece, Claire and Ingeborg, joined the family in Quito, having survived the war in France. Hedwig and Claire immigrated to the United States in November 1947, and Hedwig settled near Hilde’s family in Brooklyn, New York. Ilse and her family joined them in 1948; Ingeborg and her family also immigrated in 1951.

use:  1939 January 02-before 1942 June 13
emigration: Rastenburg (Germany)
en route: Ecuador.
Dress Accessories
Object Type
Wallets (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ruth Abraham
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:09:52
This page: