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Concentration camp uniform cap worn by a Polish Jewish inmate

Object | Accession Number: 1993.159.3

Striped concentration uniform cap worn by Mieczyslaw Watnicki in Auschwitz concentration camp from late 1940 until his liberation in Germany in May 1945. The pants have a red badge with the letter P, indicating that Mieczyslaw was a Polish political prisoner. After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Mieczyslaw lived in Warsaw under a false identity as a non-Jew. He was arrested in late 1940 for falsifying identity papers, but the Gestapo did not discover that he was Jewish. He was sent to Auschwitz as a Polish political prisoner and assigned prisoner number 137605. In late 1944 or early 1945, Mieczyslaw was sent to Oranienburg slave labor camp in Germany. He was later sent to Sachenhausen, Porta Westfalica, Stendal, Fehrbellin, and Ludwigslust, likely on a death march. Mieczyslaw was liberated in May 1945. Mieczyslaw’s wife, parents and four siblings were killed in the Holocaust. He immigrated to America in 1950. He became friends with Leon Ginsburg and at some point, entrusted him with his concentration camp uniform. Ginsburg, as a child, survived the Holocaust in hiding in Poland and Ukraine.

use:  approximately 1940-1945 May
issue: Auschwitz (Concentration camp); Oświęcim (Poland)
use: Sachsenhausen (Concentration camp); Sachsendorf (Wurzen, Germany)
use: Porta Westfalica (Concentration camp); Porta Westfalica (Germany)
use: Fehrbellin (Concentration camp); Fehrbellin (Germany)
use: Ludwigsdorf (Concentration camp); Ludwikowice Klodzkie (Poland)
Clothing and Dress
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Leon Ginsburg
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:10:12
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