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Handmade metal knife used by a concentration camp inmate saved by getting on Schindler's list

Object | Accession Number: 2013.379.7

Knife with a coil handle made in Brunnlitz labor camp by Heinz or Joachim Dressler. In October 1938, the Dressler family, Joachim, wife, Martha, and children Susi, 24, and Heinz, 19, were deported from Dresden, Germany to Kraków, Poland. Germany occupied Poland in September 1939. In May 1941, the Dresslers were sent to the Jewish ghetto. In 1942, Heinz was a forced laborer sent to construct Kraków-Płaszów labor camp. In March 1943, the Germans liquidated the Kraków ghetto and Heinz's family were sent to the camp. Płaszów was a brutal camp where the Ukrainian guards daily shot inmates for no reason. In 1944, Płaszów became a concentration camp and conditions worsened. That same year in August, the family learned of Oskar Schindler’s list. Schindler was a German businessman who ran factories nearby. He employed about 900 Jewish forced laborers, who he protected from the abuse at Płaszów and from deportation. Heinz knew Izak Stern, who worked for Schindler. The family was able to get added to the list, partly because they spoke German. As the Soviet Army approached, the Germans decided to dismantle the camp. Schindler arranged to relocate his factory to Brunnlitz in Czechoslovakia as a subcamp of Gross Rosen. In October 1944, Heinz and Joachim were transported to Gross Rosen, and sent to Brunnlitz. Martha and Susi arrived in November. They worked in Schindler's ammunition plant. Schindler kept German camp personnel out of the camp and did his best to feed the inmates. Schindler left the camp on May 7, 1945, the day Germany surrendered. The camp was liberated May 9 by Soviet troops. The family left for Prague, then travelled to different transit camps until immigrating to the US in February 1947.

Date
creation:  1944 October-1945
Geography
creation: Brünnlitz (Concentration camp); Brněnec (Czech Republic)
Classification
Tools and Equipment
Category
Cutting tools
Object Type
Knives (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Knives.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Diane Spiegel Belok and Donna Kantor Krasner
 
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:24:35
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn95284