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Embroidered brown tefillin bag used by a Jewish Polish man

Object | Accession Number: 1993.156.1.1

Tefillin pouch given Idek Smolarz, 25, while recovering in a hospital in Wels, Austria, after his liberation on May 5, 1945. Idek received a tefillin set from another patient, a Czech boy who kept the tefillin with him while working for the Germans digging fox holes. In May 1942, Idek and his oldest brother Solomon were sent to Krakow-Kostrze labor camp, and then to Krakow-Płaszów, where they were joined by their father Meyer. Their mother and siblings were rounded up in Skala, Poland. In summer 1943, Meyer died of typhus. In early 1944, Idek and Solomon were sent to Auschwitz I. In March, the brothers were separated when Idek was sent to Sosnowitz II slave labor camp. In late 1944 or early 1945, Idek was sent on a death march to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. He was reunited with Solomon, but in March, Idek was sent to Wien-Hinterbruehl slave labor camp and Solomon to Melk. Idek was sent back to Mauthausen that month and found Solomon and their brother Leon. In April, Idek, Solomon, and Leon were sent on a death march to Gunskirchen, where they were liberated on May 5, 1945. They stayed in a hospital in Wels, then lived in Bindermichl displaced persons camp until their 1949 immigration to the United States. Idek’s mother, three sisters, younger brother, niece, nephew, and most of his extended family were killed during the Holocaust.

received:  after 1945 May
use: Czechoslovakia
received: Wels (Austria)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Tefillin bags (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Edward Smolarz, in memory of his beloved grandparents Smolarz, Allerhand, and Langsam, his parents Meyer and Rosalia, his sisters Sara, Hanah, and Rifka, his brother, Samuel, and all victims of the Holocaust
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 17:50:29
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