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The Suitcase

Artifacts Unpacked Video Series

To avoid intensifying Nazi persecution against Jews, Elisabeth Blind and her mother, Schoontje Visser, obtained false identity papers with assistance from the Dutch resistance. But life in the shadows was far from easy. 

Elisabeth experienced violence in a store when trying to buy milk, witnessed her aunt and teenage cousin being rounded up for deportation, and suffered from hunger.

When Elisabeth donated artifacts from that time to the Museum in 2004, she was reluctant to talk about her own experiences. She preferred to focus on her family members who did not survive the Holocaust and initially planned only to donate photos of them to preserve their memory: her uncle Levi Visser; her baby cousin, Mozes, and his mother, Esther Swaab Franshman; her aunt Betsy Visser Swaab; and her grandparents, Benjamin and Henriette Visser. She had forgotten about the suitcase, but when her husband (also a Holocaust survivor) found it in their garage, she agreed to donate it as well.


Artifacts shown in the video were donated to the Museum by Elisabeth Blind Munichman. Learn more about the suitcase.