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Mezuzah with an embossed rising sun used by a prewar German Jewish emigre to the US

Object | Accession Number: 2012.455.2

Gold colored embossed mezuzah used by Dr. Leo Nast, a chemical engineer who left Hamburg, Germany, for the United States in July 1934. According to the Torah, every doorpost in a Jewish home should display a mezuzah klaf, a small parchment scroll inscribed with two prayers. The scroll is enclosed in a case so that it can be affixed to the right doorpost. It serves as a reminder of the covenant of faith and a notice that this is an observant Jewish home. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Leo had long opposed the politics of Hitler and the Nazi Party and Leo and his wife Bertha decided to leave Germany. Their immigration was sponsored by the Catalin Corporation, a plastics company that employed Leo after his arrival in the US. The Nazi dictatorship enacted anti-Jewish laws and the persecution of Jews grew increasingly harsh. In 1939, Leo arranged for his mother, Frederica, to come to the US. In May 1940, he sponsored the immigration of his niece, Johanna Cohn, her husband Arthur, and their 18 year old daughter Irma, from Breslau, Germany.

emigration:  1934 July
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Mezuzah (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Irma Cohn Clemens
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:25:53
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