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Black wooden ball returned after 50 years to the cousin of a Jewish youth killed during the Holocaust

Object | Accession Number: 2013.319.3

Black wooden ball that originally belonged to 16 year old Gustav Steiner. He entrusted it to his non-Jewish friend and neighbor, Emil Varecka, in July 1942 prior to his deportation from Prostejov, Czechoslovakia, to Ghetto Theresienstadt. The ball was recovered by Gustav's second cousin, Maud Michal Stecklmacher Beer, when she visited Prostejov in 1990. She met Emil, who offered her the toy that he had kept since 1942. Prostejov was annexed and occupied by Nazi Germany in March 1939. On July 2, 1942, Gustav and his father, Josef, along with Josef's brother Max and his wife Steffi, and Max's daughter Käthe Stecklmacher, her husband Fritz, and their two daughters, 13 year old Maud and 8 year old Karmela, were deported to Terezin. On July 28, Gustav and Josef were sent to Baranowicze, Poland (Baranovichy, Belarus) where they were murdered upon arrival. Max died in Theresienstadt on September 14. Fritz committed suicide there in May 1943. Steffi was deported and murdered in Auschwitz in October 1944. The camp was liberated on May 8, 1945. Käthe, Maud, and Karmela soon returned to Prostejov. The three immigrated to Israel in March 1949.

Date
1942 July  (received)
1990  (recovered)
Geography
received : Prostejov (Czech Republic)
Classification
Toys
Category
Wooden toys
Object Type
Wooden toys (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Maud Michal Stecklmacher Beer
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:25:35
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn77079