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Silver-plated table fork with Nazi emblem acquired by a former concentration camp inmate

Object | Accession Number: 2014.316.4

Silver-plated table fork with a Reichsadler stamp acquired by Laszlo Meisels, while recuperating in Hillersleben, Germany, after his liberation from a prisoner transport train by US troops in April 1945. Laszlo and his family were living in the small town of Nádudvar when Nazi Germany occupied Hungary in March 1944. The authorities quickly established a Jewish ghetto in the town, and Laszlo and his family, along with the Jews from surrounding towns were forced inside. Soon after, Laszlo’s father, Lajos, was conscripted for forced labor service and taken away. In June, Laszlo, along with his mother and two younger brothers were deported as slave laborers to a farm on the outskirts of Vienna, Austria. In December, they were transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, and placed in a section for prisoners intended to be exchanged. On April 7, 1945, they were put on a transport bound for Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. On April 13, midway on the journey, the guards abandoned the train near the town of Farsleben, Germany. Later that day, Laszlo, his family, and the other prisoners were liberated by American troops. They were then taken to Hillersleben, where a German Army Research Center and testing grounds had been converted into a hospital and displaced persons (DP) camp by the American army. Laszlo and his family recuperated there and then returned to Hungary, where they reunited with Lajos in September 1945. They stayed until immigrating to North America in the late 1950s.

Date
found:  1945 April
Geography
found: Hillersleben (Germany)
Language
German
Classification
Household Utensils
Category
Flatware
Object Type
Forks (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Silverware.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Leslie Meisels
 
Record last modified: 2021-03-31 10:30:40
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn89020