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Agfa Box 44 camera carried with a German Jewish boy on a Kindertransport to France

Object | Accession Number: 2013.440.2

Agfa 44 box camera, or Preisbox, given to Heinz Stephan Lewy for his bar mitzvah in March 1938 in Berlin, Germany. He took it with him in July 1939 when he left on a Kindertransport to France. When Hitler came to power in Germany in January 1933, Heinz was in an orphanage in Berlin, because his father Arthur was unable to care for Heinz by himself. In late 1933, Arthur was arrested because he was a Socialist and sent to Oranienburg concentration camp. He was beaten severely and had a heart attack, but was soon released. On March 11, 1938, Heinz became a bar mitzvah. Arthur was arrested for the day, but released that evening. A relative of Johanna Arzt, Arthur's second wife, sent them an affidavit for a US visa, but Arthur failed a health exam and they could not go. Heinz was placed on a Kindertransport that left July 4, 1939, for France where he lived in Quincy-sous-Sear children's home near Paris. Germany invaded France in May 1940, and that fall, Quaker aid workers took the children to Chateau de Chabannes in unoccupied France. Heinz asked the director to look for his parents and learned they were living in the US. His parents obtained a visa, and on June 25, 1942, Heinz arrived in New York. He Americanized his name to Stephan. In August 1943, he was drafted into the US Army, and assigned to the 6th Armored Division as an interpreter. Stephen arrived in France in June 1944, and advanced with his unit into Germany. He participated in the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945. The war ended in May and Stephan returned to the US in the fall.

Date
1938 March  (received)
approximately 1932-approximately 1938  (manufacture)
Geography
received : Berlin (Germany)
manufacture : Germany
Language
German
English
Category
Cameras
Object Type
Agfa camera (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Stephan H. Lewy
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:05:38
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn84551