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Hand tefillin worn by a Polish Jewish man in the Warsaw ghetto and in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 1995.60.3

Hand tefillin worn by Israel Miedzyrzecki to store his tefillin, which he kept with him while imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto from 1940 to 1942 and in hiding from 1942 to 1945. Tefillin are small boxes containing prayers attached to leather straps and worn on the arm and the head by Orthodox Jewish males during morning prayers. Israel and his family, wife Rivka, and children Stela, Benjamin, Mordecai, and Genia, lived in Warsaw during the German occupation which began in September 1939. They were forced into the Jewish ghetto in October 1940. In July 1942, the Germans began mass deportations of Jews to Treblinka killing center. Israel was arrested in September, but bribed a policeman to return home. Stela and her husband Yitzhak Blachowicz were sent to Treblinka. In late 1942, Benjamin, who was in the resistance, persuaded Israel, Rivka, and Genia to join him in hiding outside the ghetto. In summer 1943, Mordecai was killed by the Germans. During the Warsaw Polish Uprising, August -October 1944, Israel, Rivka, and Genia were separated from Benjamin. They went to Opoczno, and lived with a Polish family. They sent a message to Benjamin through the underground, and the family was reunited after the liberation of Warsaw on January 16, 1945. They lived in Warsaw, where Israel insisted that Benjamin marry Feigele (Vladka) Peltel, a resistance fighter and his companion during the war. The family went to Łódź and after the war ended in early May 1945, left for Munich, Germany. In May 1946, Benjamin and Feigele sailed for America. Genia emigrated to Palestine in 1946 and Israel and Rivka joined her in 1947.

use:  before 1939-1980
use: Warsaw (Poland)
use: Israel
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Tefillin (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Benjamin Meed in honor of his father Israel Miedzyrzecki (Nahari)
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:22:47
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