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Brown leather lace-up boots worn by a young Jewish girl who escaped Germany on the Kindertransport

Object | Accession Number: 2012.451.2 a-b

Brown leather lace-up boots bought for 2 year old Esther Rosenfeld by her parents in Germany and worn when she left on a June 1939 Kinderstransport to Great Britain, as her three older sisters Bertl, Edith, and Ruth, had done in March. As the adult Esther remembered: "The boots traveled with me from Germany as I left my home and parents when I was just two years old to start a new life in England. ... I suppose I wore them on the train, the ship, and then another train as I traveled to a new family. In Thorpe, I must have worn those boots for a long time. My foster father, who worked in a shoe factory, repaired them many times, as is evident when I look at them. Like all children, I outgrew the boots and cared nothing more about them. ... in 1964, Alan Harrison, my foster brother... brought me a gift from my foster mother of these boots, which she had kept safe all these years." Hitler's assumption of power in 1933 resulted in increasingly harsh persecution of the Jewish populace in Germany. Esther's extended family got affidavits of support from relatives in the US, but because of the strict US quotas, they could not get visas. Esther had a maternal aunt Hannah (Johanna) who had worked in England since 1933 and she found people willing to give the sisters homes. Esther lived with the Harrison's until 1947 when she went to America with her sisters. Her parents Adolf and Katty were murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp and many other relatives perished during the Holocaust.

Date
1939  (received)
1964  (recovered)
Geography
received : Adelsheim (Germany)
use : Norwich (England)
Classification
Dress Accessories
Category
Footwear
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Esther Rosenfeld Starobin
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:05:10
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn72131