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Two decks of skat cards used by a concentration camp inmate saved by Schindler's list

Object | Accession Number: 2013.379.10 a - bl

Two decks of 32 skat playing cards made in Brunnlitz slave labor camp from handcut rubber stamps by an unnamed prisoner and saved by fellow prisoners Heinz and Joachim Dressler. In October 1938, the Dressler family, Joachim, wife Martha, and children Susi, 24, and Heinz, 19, were deported from Dresden, Germany, to Krakow, Poland. In September 1939, Poland was occupied by Germany. In May 1941, the Dresslers were forced into the Jewish ghetto. Heinz did forced labor for construction of Krakow-Płaszów labor camp. In March 1943, the ghetto was liquidated and the Dressler's were sent to the camp, a brutal place where Ukrainian guards daily shot inmates for no reason. Heinz worked in the camp office; Martha and Susi in a factory; Joachim outside the camp. In 1944, Płaszów became a concentration camp and conditions worsened. That August, the family learned of Oskar Schindler’s list. Schindler owned two nearby factories and employed about 900 Jewish forced laborers, who he protected from the abuse at Płaszów and from deportation. The family got on the list, partly because they spoke German. As the Soviet Army approached, the Germans prepared to close the camp. Schindler relocated his factory to Brunnlitz in German occupied Czechoslovakia, designated a subcamp of Gross Rosen. In October 1944, Heinz and Joachim were sent to Brunnlitz. Martha and Susi arrived in November. Schindler kept the Germans out of the camp. Schindler left on May 7, 1945, the day Germany surrendered. The camp was liberated May 9 by Soviet troops. The family left for Prague, then traveled to different transit camps trying to find a place they wanted to stay. In February 1947, they emigrated to the United States.

use:  1944 October-1945 May
creation: Brünnlitz (Concentration camp); Brněnec (Czech Republic)
Object Type
Playing cards (lcsh)
Playing cards.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Diane Spiegel Belok and Donna Kantor Krasner
Record last modified: 2021-03-08 15:45:26
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