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Brown leather belt worn by a Jewish Polish inmate at Buchenwald concentration camp

Object | Accession Number: 2012.465.2

Brown leather belt worn by 21 year old Zelig Appel when he was a prisoner in Buchenwald concentration camp from January 1945 to April 1945. He was issued uniform pants that were too large for him, so he traded two pieces of bread for a Soviet prisoner’s belt. As he lost weight, he had to add holes with the sharpened end of a spoon. In early 1940, a few months after the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, Zelig’s town, Stary Sacz, was ghettoized and Zelig was sent to Tegoborze forced labor camp. In June, he was sent to an SS training camp, Rabka. In August 1942, Zelig returned to the ghetto to say goodbye to his parents and siblings, who were to be transported to a concentration camp when the ghetto was liquidated. At the end of 1942, Zelig was transported to Krakow ghetto. He told the guards that he was a carpenter and was transferred to Płaszów concentration camp. In November 1943, he was transferred to Ostrowiec forced labor camp. In July 1944, Zelig was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and tattooed with prisoner number B-3964. In January 1945, he was sent on a forced march to Gleiwitz, and then put on a train to Buchenwald, where he was assigned prisoner number 123367. On April 11, the camp was liberated, and Zelig was transferred to Buchenwald displaced persons camp. In August, he managed to join his younger cousin Murray on a children’s transport to Switzerland. In August 1946, Zelig left for Italy where he contracted typhus. While recuperating in Cinecitta DP camp, his American cousin, Louis Korn, contacted him and sponsored his immigration to the US, where he arrived in August 1949.

use:  1945 January-1945 April
use: Buchenwald (Concentration camp); Weimar (Thuringia, Germany)
Dress Accessories
Belts (Clothing)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Nathan M. Appel
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:13:49
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