Jewelry box with a secret compartment used to hide documents belonging to German Jewish prisoners
after 1944 April-before 1945
Sprendlingen (Hesse, Germany)
- Object Type
Jewelry boxes (aat)
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lore Schwarz
Wooden jewelry box with Lore Anthes’ initials made by her grandfather, Georg Anthes, to hide a postcard from Regina Hess, dated April 7, 1944, and sent from Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. The box had a secret drawer that opened from the side so that anyone examining it would not see anything odd on the front. Lore lived with her parents, Georg and Elizabeth, brother, Guenther, and grandparents, Georg and Elise, in Sprendlingen, Germany. Her family members were evangelicals and staunch Social Democrats who were opposed to the anti-Jewish decrees being passed in Germany during the 1930s. These laws affected the Anthes family’s Jewish friends, including Regina Hess and the Bendheim family: Julius, Flora, Edith, and Kurt. During the Kristallnacht pogrom in early November 1938, Julius was arrested and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp, where he was killed. Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. In 1941, all of the Jews in Sprendlingen were forced to move into two communal houses, one of which had been Regina’s. On September 17, 1942, Lore saw all of the Jews in town being forced into a truck and taken away. That same year, Lore’s father was required to join the German Army. He was a prisoner of war from 1945 to 1947. After the war, none of Lore’s Jewish neighbors returned. Flora, Edith, and Kurt Bendheim were all deported to the east in 1942, and likely murdered. On May 18, 1944, Regina Hess was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland, and likely murdered in July.
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:21:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn692777
Also in Lore Anthes Schwarz family collection
The collection consists of a jewelry box, a postcard, and several documents relating to the experiences of Regina Hess in Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust and the family of Julius Bentheim in Germany during the Holocaust, which were kept hidden by Georg, Elise, and Lore Anthes in Germany during World War II.
The Georg and Elise Anthes papers include a postcard purportedly sent by Regina Hess (1880-1944) from Theresienstadt to Georg and Elise Anthes in Sprendlingen, Germany, and two emigration documents sent by the State Department to the family of Julius Bendheim (1892-1938). Regina Hess was deported from Darmstadt to Theresienstadt in September 1942. The postcard signed by Regina Hess is dated April 7, 1944, and it states that she is well, that she would like to hear from the Anthes family, and that she enjoyed the package including cake that the Anthes’ had sent her. She asks about their children’s schooling and relates the death of her husband Daniel in Theresienstadt in November 1942. However, the Anthes family had not sent a package, and believed that the postcard was not written by Regina Hess but may have been a ploy to get them to respond. Georg and Elise Anthes kept the postcard safe in a secret drawer in a wooden box in their home until such time that Regina might return to Sprendlingen to explain the card. In May 1944, Regina Hess was transported to Auschwitz and killed. Her son Jakob (Jack) had immigrated to the United States in 1937. The emigration documents explain that Julius Bendheim was registered on the United States quota visa waiting list under number 11599 and that he had submitted sufficient immigration documentation to allow his family of three to receive visas provided sufficient quota numbers remained and that he made firm travel plans to the United States. Julius Bendheim trusted these documents to his friends Georg and Elise Anthes for safe keeping. He died at Buchenwald in November 1938 following Kristallnacht.