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A young Jewish girl poses in a costume for Purim in Antwerp, Belgium.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 60073

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    A young Jewish girl poses in a costume for Purim in Antwerp, Belgium.
    A young Jewish girl poses in a costume for Purim in Antwerp, Belgium.

Pictured is Anna Altenberg.


    A young Jewish girl poses in a costume for Purim in Antwerp, Belgium.

    Pictured is Anna Altenberg.
    Anna Altenberg-Burshtain
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Anna Altenberg-Burshtain

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Anna Altenberg-Burshtain
    Source Record ID: Collections: 2003.360.1

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Anna Altenberg-Burshtain (born Anna Altenberg) is the daughter of Necha (Markowicz) and Bernard (Berek) Altenberg, both of whom immigrated to Belgium from Poland in the interwar period. Anna was born in 1932 in Antwerp, where her father was a photographer and the owner of a large photo studio called Bernard Studios. He was also the inventor of the first electric copier, which he displayed at the 1930 World's Fair. Anna had three sisters: Rebecca (b. 1931), Frederica (Frieda, b. 1936) and Micheline (Mieneke, b. 1939). During the first two years of the German occupation the Altenbergs suffered the increasingly burdensome anti-Jewish legislation. After receiving an order to Aryanize his business, Bernard sold his studio to a non-Jewish friend, Mr. Lontie, who returned it after the war. In June 1942 when the large-scale round-ups of Jews began, the Altenbergs decided to go into hiding. The four girls were placed with a non-Jewish family, while Bernard and Necha hid separately and moved frequently to avoid capture. Their last hiding place was with the Van Gaal family. While in hiding Bernard assisted the Belgian resistance by drawing stamps for false papers. After the four girls had been in hiding for a few months, their rescuers, fearing arrest, sent the girls back to their parents. Lacking other alternatives, Bernard and Necha placed the girls in the Jewish orphanage in Antwerp that was run by the AJB (Association des Juifs de Belgique), the official Jewish administration. In November 1943, the orphanage was forced to relocate to Lasne. Though the Germans knew of the existence of the orphanage, the children were never deported. Nor were they compelled to conceal their Jewish identity. They were even able to celebrate Jewish holidays in the home. Immediately after the liberation, Bernard and Necha retrieved their daughters. Though all of their immediate relatives survived the war, many of their extended family perished, including Bernard's brother and two sisters and their families.
    Record last modified:
    2021-04-09 00:00:00
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