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Large plastic doll named Marlene brought by a young Jewish girl to the Theresienstadt ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 1992.4.1 a-f

Large, celluloid baby doll with several broken pieces that 7 year old Inge Auerbacher took with her when she and her parents, Berthold and Regina, were deported from Goppingen, Germany, in August 1942 to Theresienstadt ghetto/labor camp in German occupied Czechoslovakia. In the collection center, the SS took the doll's head off and searched it, then let her keep it. When the family arrived at the camp all of their belongings were taken away, except Inge's doll, named Marlene after the actress Marlene Dietrich. Inge promised her doll that she would protect it and the doll comforted Inge when she cried. The doll had been given to Inge around 1935 by her maternal grandmother Betty Lauchheimer, who was deported to Riga, Latvia, in 1941. At Theresienstadt, Inge and her parents shared a room with another couple and their daughter, Ruth Abraham. Ruth was a few months older than Inge and the girls had identical dolls. In September 1944, Berthold was told to report to SS headquarters for a selection for deportation. He had been told to go to the girl with the typewriter which he did. She put a red circle around their names and they were not put on the list. Ruth and her family were selected. Before Ruth left, she gave Inge doll clothes (see 1992.4.2) that her mother had made for her. Ruth and her parents were sent to Auschwitz and killed. Inge and her parents were liberated at the camp by Soviet troops on May 9, 1945. The camp was placed in quarantine because of a typhus epidemic. When it was lifted, they returned to Inge's grandmother's home in Jebenhausen. The people living in the house prepared them a room. They learned that her grandmother was probably shot in Riga and that nearly all of their relatives who had been unable to leave Europe were murdered in the camps. Inge and her parents left Germany after nine months for the US.

received:  1936
use:  1942-1945
manufacture:  approximately 1935
received: Kippenheim (Germany)
use: Theresienstadt (Concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
manufacture: Neckarau (Mannheim, Germany)
Object Type
Dolls (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Inge Auerbacher
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:20:33
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