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Jewelry box with a secret compartment used to hide documents belonging to German Jewish prisoners

Object | Accession Number: 2019.180.2 a-b

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.

creation:  after 1944 April-before 1945
creation: Sprendlingen (Hesse, Germany)
Object Type
Jewelry boxes (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lore Schwarz
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:21:00
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