Cloth bread bag with prisoner number of Leopold Abraham who was murdered at Theresienstadt. Theresienstadt concentration camp, 1940s.
Leopold Abraham was born in Bebra, Germany in 1907 where he lived until the war broke out. During the war he was taken to Theresienstadt where he stayed about eight months until his murder in the camp. The cloth bag was preserved by his fellow prisoner attorney Karl Herz who survived Theresienstadt's horrors by bribing SS soldiers with money from acquaintances outside the camp. The cloth bag appeared annually in the Holocaust memorial exhibition held at Lazaros House in Jerusalem in the 90s, and was given to us by the director of the neighboring school who was responsible for the exhibition. We received the bag's details from him. Leopold's name and information were also found in the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names at Yad Vashem.
The school director's request is that the purchaser of the item – a private individual or institution – will use it to commemorate the Holocaust for future generations.
We found a similar example of a Theresienstadt prisoner bread bag in the Yad Vashem Artifact Collection belonging to the boy Yizhe (Georg) Bader. Another similar bread bag appears in the Yad Vashem collection belonging to Sima Wronski from Ravensbrück camp.
At Theresienstadt prisoners received a meager portion of bread once a day, and many hours passed until the next portion. These cloth bags enabled prisoners to divide the bread ration into small pieces and eat it through the day so the daily food portion wouldn't be lost or stolen. (See "Silent Witnesses: The Story of Artifacts from Yad Vashem's Collections", Yad Vashem publications, p. 151). A prisoner found with another prisoner's bread bag was liable to severe punishment. Therefore each bag bore the prisoner's number authorized to hold it.
The camp was established in 1941 in the town of Terezin in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia as a transit camp for further deportation and ghetto. Theresienstadt was presented as a "model Jewish settlement" for propaganda purposes masking the camp's horrors through various deceptions. The overcrowding, starvation, and forced labor subdued many prisoners. Of about 140,000 Jews imprisoned in Theresienstadt, around 35,000 died in the ghetto itself and about 88,000 were deported to death camps.
29x20 cm. Good condition.