Each artifact in our collection has a story to tell. The Artifacts Unpacked video series takes you behind the scenes to learn about the objects the Museum protects and how they keep alive the memory and experiences of victims and witnesses of the Holocaust.
The Love Letters
Holocaust survivor Fernande “Danielle” Halerie and David Snegg kept their romance alive by writing dozens of letters toward the end of World War II. Their correspondence also documents their experiences while Danielle anxiously waited to learn the fate of her family.
The Toy Car Set
For his seventh birthday, Peter Ney’s parents gave him this car set. It was the day after Kristallnacht—their home had been ransacked, but Peter’s gift was undamaged.
The Steamer Trunk
The Berg family packed this trunk to escape Nazi Germany for Kenya in 1939 and again in 1947 when they immigrated to the United States.
Under the cover of darkness, this motorboat ferried hundreds of Jews from Denmark to safety in neutral Sweden.
In a detailed diary, 13-year-old Hans Vogel described his family’s struggle to immigrate to the U.S. after fleeing Nazi Germany.
The Paint Roller
The Nazis persecuted Franz Wohlfahrt and his family for being Jehovah’s Witnesses. A tool of his trade as a painter played a role in his survival.
The Flag Dress
Before immigrating to the United States, Holocaust survivor Margret Hantman wore an American flag costume for a performance in a displaced persons camp.
The Wicker Chair
Even while hiding in German-occupied Amsterdam, Louise Lawrence-Israëls’s parents found a way to celebrate her second birthday, surprising her with a wicker chair.
The Evening Gown
Lilly Joseph wore this dress to a celebration after she and other passengers aboard the MS St. Louis learned they would not be forced to return to Nazi Germany.
The Star Badge
As a teenager, Fritz Gluckstein was forced to start wearing a yellow Star of David badge in Nazi Berlin. It was a measure designed to segregate and humiliate Jews.