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Tablespoon with scratched initials used by a German Jewish concentration camp inmate

Object | Accession Number: 1994.75.1

Stainless steel tablespoon with scratched initials used by Hans Finke while imprisoned in Auschwitz and several subcamps: Gleiwitz, Sachsenhausen, Flossenburg, and Bergen Belsen. Hans carried the spoon, a crucial piece of property, in his shoe during transfers, including a death march, from March 1943 until liberation in Bergen-Belsen in April 1945. Hans, his parents and his sister Ursula lived in Berlin during the rise of the Nazi dictatorship from 1933 with its aggressive anti-Jewish policies. In February 1943, Hans, 23, an electrician, was a slave laborer for Siemens when he was hospitalized with appendicitis. On February 29, his parents were deported to Auschwitz. On March 8, the Gestapo raided the hospital and arrested staff and patients. Hans was transported to Monowitz concentration camp, and later sent to a series of subcamps until, weighing 80 pounds, he was liberated at Bergen Belsen by the British Army. His parents were murdered in Auschwitz. His sister Ursula survived in hiding. Bergen-Belsen became a displaced persons camp and Hans began working for the British and various aid groups. He met Alice Redlich, who had left Berlin for England in 1938 to continue her nurses's training. She volunteered with the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad and, in September 1946, arrived at Bergen-Belsen DP camp. Her family was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943. Alice and Hans married on June 20, 1948, in the camp. The couple, with Alice pregnant with their first child, emigrated to the United States on August 29, 1949.

Date
after 1943 March-1945 April  (use)
Geography
use : Auschwitz (Concentration camp); Oswiecim (Poland)
use : Sachsenhausen (Concentration camp); Oranienburg (Germany)
use : Bergen-Belsen (Concentration camp); Belsen (Bergen, Celle, Germany)
Classification
Household Utensils
Category
Flatware
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alice and John Fink
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:25:52
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn8846