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Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp scrip, 50 [funfzig] kronen note

Object | Accession Number: 2013.391.3

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    Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp scrip, 50 [funfzig] kronen note

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Scrip, valued at 50 kronen, issued in Theresienstadt (Terezin) ghetto-labor camp acquired by Eva and Zvi Schloss, postwar for their collection. All currency was confiscated from deportees upon entry and replaced with scrip and ration coupons that could be exchanged only in the camp. The Theresienstadt camp existed for 3.5 years, from November 24, 1941 to May 9, 1945. It was located in a region of Czechoslovakia occupied by Germany, renamed the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and made part of the Greater German Reich. Zvi Schloss, age 10, fled Nazi Germany, with his parents, Meier and Ilse, around 1935, after his father was released from Dachau where he was interned from 1933-1935. Eva Geiringer, age 9, and her parents, Erich and Fritzi, and brother Heinz fled Vienna, Austria, in 1938 for Amsterdam. It was occupied by Germany in 1940 and, in 1942, the family went into hiding. They were denounced in May 1944 and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. In January 1945, the SS began evacuations and Erich and Heinz were sent on a forced march. Eva and Fritzi were in the camp when Soviet troops arrived. Eva and her mother returned to Amsterdam. In August 1945, they received a Red Cross letter telling them that Erich and Heinz had perished.
    Date
    issue:  1943 January 01
    Geography
    issue: Theresienstadt (Concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Eva and Zvi Schloss
    Markings
    face, upper center, printed, blue ink : QUITTUNG ÜBER / FÜNFZIG KRONEN [RECEIPT OF / FIFTY CROWNS]
    face, lower center, large font, printed, blue ink : 50
    face, lower center, small font, printed, blue ink : WER DIESE QUITTUNG VERFÄLSCHT ODER NACHMACHT / ODER GEFÄLSCHTE QUITTUNGEN IN VERKEHR BRINGT. / WIRD STRENGSTENS BESTRAFT [ANYONE WHO FALSIFIES OR DISTORTS OR FAKES THIS RECEIPT, OR COUNTERFEITS RECEIPT, WILL BE STRICTLY PUNISHED]
    reverse, upper left in border, serial number, printed, red ink : 018782
    reverse, right center below scrollwork, series number, printed, red ink : H
    reverse, center, printed, blue ink : Quittung / über / FÜNFZIG KRONEN [Receipt / of / FIFTY CROWNS]
    reverse, lower center, printed, black ink : THERESIENSTADT, AM 1.JANNER 1943 DER ALTESTE DER JUDEN / IN THERESIENSTADT [THERESIENSTADT, ON 1. JANUARY 1943 THE ELDER OF THE JEWS IN THERESIENSTADT]
    reverse, bottom right, printed, black ink : Jakob Edelstein
    Contributor
    Subject: Eva Schloss
    Zvi Schloss
    Biography
    Eva Geiringer (later Schloss, b. 1929) was born in Vienna, Austria, to Erich (1901-1945) and Elfriede (Fritzi) Markovits (1905-1998) Geiringer, who married in 1923. She had an older brother, Heinz (1926-1945), and they had a very close relationship. Fritzi’s parents lived very close by, and they saw each other every couple of days. Erich was a shoe manufacturer, and exported moccasins until 1934, when The Great Depression caused his firm to go bankrupt. The family moved to a less expensive area of Vienna. During this time, Erich was able to find new business opportunities and worked with connections in the Netherlands, where he began building up capital.

    On March 13, 1938, Austria was annexed into Germany, in what became known as the "Anschluss." Austria became subject to the Nuremberg Laws, which suppressed the rights and personal freedoms of Jews. Eva and Heinz were no longer allowed to attend public school, and had to transfer to a Jewish school, even though Eva never truly identified as Jewish. The Geiringers decided to flee. Erich left first for the Netherlands, followed soon by Heinz. By the time Fritzi and Eva were ready to follow, the Dutch borders had closed. Instead, they snuck into Belgium, where Erich could visit them on weekends. They found a boarding house, and Eva began attending a girls’ school, where she learned French and made new friends.

    The desire to reunite intensified after World War II began in September 1939. Erich was able to obtain a visitation permit so his family could enter the Netherlands, and they joined him in Amsterdam in February 1940. They settled in an area where many other refugees lived, and moved into a building across the street from the Frank family. Eva and Heinz went to the same school as Anne and Margot Frank.

    The Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Under German occupation, the Netherlands also became subject to the Nuremburg laws. Once again, Heinz and Eva had to stop attending the public school. Heinz was enrolled in a Jewish school, while Eva shared a private tutor with several other children. Erich had to close his business, but opened a small workshop making snakeskin handbags. By January 1941, all Jews had to register with the authorities. That spring, thousands of Jews were sent to German-run forced labor camps. Eva's father began to make plans to go into hiding. The underground supplied the family with false papers, and Eva was given the false identity of a Christian named Jopie Ackerman.

    In the summer of 1942, German authorities began deporting Jews from the Netherlands, via the Westerbork transit camp. After Heinz and his neighborhood peers received a summons to report for a labor camp in Germany, on July 5, 1942, the family decided to go into hiding. Erich felt they would be safer if the family split up. For their first placement, Eva and her mother hid in the home of a woman who had two young sons. When the danger became too great, they moved into the home of Mrs. Klompe, a teacher. Resistance members built a false tile wall behind the toilet for an extra hiding space. Two hours after it was finished, German police raided the apartment, but did not find Eva and her mother.

    Eva and Fritzi both had blond hair and could pass as non-Jewish, so they were able to leave the apartment occasionally to visit Erich and Heinz. Heinz looked stereotypically Jewish, so the men did not dare to leave their hiding space and occupied themselves by painting, writing, and studying languages. Hiding them was riskier, because the neighbors of their rescuer were Dutch Nazis. After a while, their rescuers grew tired of hiding them, fed them less, and demanded more money. The Germans increased efforts to find hidden Jews, and all four family members were moved to new hiding places.

    Eva and Fritzi moved in with the Reitsma family, who prepared a special birthday breakfast for Eva’s 15th birthday on May 11, 1944. Just as they were finishing, the Gestapo burst into the home. They had been turned in by a Dutch nurse who had helped Erich and Heinz get to their new hiding place. Eva and Fritzi were taken to a detention center, as were Erich, Heinz, and the Reitsmas. All four members of the Geiringer family were beaten or tortured during their interrogation. Erich offered the Gestapo jewelry in exchange for freeing the Reitsmas. The Reitsmas were released, but the Geiringers were sent to Westerbork transit camp. After a few days, they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in German-occupied Poland, arriving on May 17.

    The men and women were separated on the train platform after they arrived. During the processing, Eva was tattooed with the number A5272, and had her head shaved. They were forced into showers, given uniforms, and sent to barracks where ten people had to sleep to a bunk. After three weeks in new-arrival quarantine, Eva and Fritzi were assigned to a work detail in the Kanada barrack, sorting clothes and personal possessions. At one point, Eva and Fritzi went to the hospital block and met a nurse, Minni, who happened to be Fritzi’s cousin. Minni’s position enabled her to give them extra food and medicine. Eva’s father, Erich, tracked her down, and they were able to meet twice at a camp fence. Talking through the fence, Erich told her that he was working in a timber factory and Heinz was assigned to the vegetable gardens.

    Eva and Fritzi worked in the warehouse from May to July 1944. Afterwards, they were reassigned to hard physical labor, carrying heavy stones. In September, Fritzi was selected for the gas chambers. Eva was given a new labor assignment to braid ropes. After two months, Eva met a group of Dutch Jews who told her that Minni persuaded Dr. Mengele to spare Eva’s mother. Eva was admitted to the hospital block where her mother was hiding, and Minni got her transferred so she could stay.

    In January 1945, Birkenau was evacuated in advance of the Soviet arrival. Those able to walk, including Minni, were sent on a forced march. After the SS fled, Eva raided the storerooms for food, clothing, and blankets. A few days later, Soviet soldiers arrived. Eva and a friend and walked to the main camp where they reunited with male survivors. Eva saw her former neighbor, Otto Frank (1889-1980), who informed her that Erich and Heinz had been on the forced march. Eva fetched her mother from Birkenau, and they settled into the men’s camp.

    In February, the Soviet soldiers transported the survivors to Katowice, Poland, then to Cernauti, Romania (Chernivtsi, Ukraine) and finally to Odessa, Ukraine, where they stayed until the war ended in May. Eva and Fritzi then made their way back to Amsterdam. They received a letter from the Red Cross telling them that Heinz had died at Mauthausen in April 1945, and that Erich died on May 4, three days before the war ended. Fritzi began working in an office, while Eva returned to school and began working part-time in a photography and printing studio. Eva and Fritzi became close with Otto Frank, who had also returned to their neighborhood in Amsterdam. In 1951, he arranged for Eva to study photography in England for a year. While there, she met and began dating an Israeli economic student, Zvi Schloss. Eva married Zvi in 1952, and the following year, her mother married Otto Frank and relocated to Basel, Switzerland. Eva and Zvi settled in London, and they had three daughters.
    Zvi Schloss was born in 1925 in Ingolstadt, Germany, to a Jewish couple, Meier and Ilse Schloss. Meier's father was a doctor and his family were farmers and merchants in Bavaria. Meier served in the German Army during World War I, 1914-1918, and he returned with serious ailments, rheumatism and heart disease, from which he never recovered. He moved to Ingolstadt and became a successful merchant dealing in hops, an ingredient in beer. He married, but his first wife died giving birth to their son Shlomo. Meier remarried Ilse, who was from Wuerttemberg, where her family were wealthy wine dealers. Meier and Ilse had a son, Zvi, in 1925.

    In January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Meier was arrested later that year and sent to Dachau concentration camp. In 1936, Meier was released and the family fled to British Mandate Palestine and settled in Haifa. Meier worked as a pushcart vendor, selling a popular local drink. Zvi was enrolled in a private school and began to learn Hebrew. Zvi's paternal grandparents were able to travel to Palestine for his Bar Mitzvah in 1938. His grandfather told them of the intolerable humiliations and abuse they lived with in Bavaria, but the elderly couple decided to return to Germany. The family suspected his grandfather later committed suicide. World War II began when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Zvi's paternal grandmother was deported to a concentration camp in Latvia where she perished. The war ended with Germany's surrender on May 7, 1945.

    On May 15, 1948, the State of Israel was established. Zvi had been working in a bank, but now joined the Israeli Defense Force. He served for two years, and then returned to his position at the bank. In 1950, the bank helped Zvi obtain a job in London. In 1951, Zvi was also attending college to study international economics. He rented a room in a boarding house, where he met Eva Geiringer, a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau, originally from Austria. Eva's father and brother perished during the Holocaust. Eva and Zvi married in Amsterdam in 1951. Zvi's father was deceased, but his mother attended the wedding. In 1953, Eva's mother Fritzi, also a survivor of Birkenau, married Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank, whom the family had known before the war. Eva and Zvi settled in London and have 3 daughters.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German Hebrew
    Classification
    Exchange Media
    Category
    Money
    Object Type
    Scrip (aat)
    Physical Description
    Scrip printed on offwhite paper with a graphic design on the face in black and blue-green ink on a blue patterned background. On the left side is a medallion with an image of Moses holding 2 stone tablets with the 10 Commandments in Hebrew characters. In the center is the denomination in German text and a numeral 50, with 3 lines of German text below. On the right side is a wide, offwhite border with the denomination 50 in the bottom corner below a 6-pointed Star of David. The reverse has a blue-green geometric background design with a faded gray center streak, with German text, and a large scrollwork line. Below the text is an engraved signature. The denomination 50 is in the upper right corner. The left side has a wide, offwhite border with the denomination 50 in the bottom corner below a 6-pointed Star of David. The serial number 018782 is in red in the upper left corner. The series letter H is in red on the right center. The scrip is worn, stained and creased with small tears.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 2.750 inches (6.985 cm) | Width: 5.500 inches (13.97 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The Theresienstadt scrip was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by Eva and Zvi Schloss.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-08-12 08:07:48
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn79398

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