What happened to Jewish Allied soldiers during the Holocaust?
April 13, 2022
Not much has been written about Jewish soldiers fighting in the Allied armies against Germany during World War II. One estimate puts the number at 1.5 million. Resident Historian, Emeritus Professor Dr Konrad Kwiet examines what happened to Jewish Allied soldiers during the Holocaust.
“This year in Jerusalem”: the story of a Seder plate
March 24, 2022
This Seder plate from our collection was given to Samuel Steif in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany in 1948. It depicts the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery – a meaning that would have taken on a deeper significance right after the Holocaust. It is engraved not with the traditional saying “Next year in Jerusalem”, but rather, “This year in Jerusalem”.
Telling the Holocaust through poems
March 17, 2022
For many Holocaust victims and survivors, poetry was used to convey experience in ways that traditional language simply could not. Holocaust poems have emerged as an important medium to express emotions of suffering, despair and even hope.
A lamp with no shade
December 31, 2021
In 2018, we received a donation of a mysterious hand-carved lampstand. We know little about the maker, aside from the fact that they were a Lithuanian displaced person in a DP camp in Germany.
The Amazing Mr Rooklyn
December 30, 2021
Maurice Rooklyn was one of Australia’s leading entertainers – a hypnotist, juggler, ventriloquist, illusionist and magician. Born in England in 1905 to Russian-Jewish parents, his family migrated to Australia in 1912.
A story hidden in the seams
December 13, 2021
These Christmas-themed charms in our collection were made by a seamstress named Trude Baumann, within the walls of Oederan concentration camp between 1944 and 1945. Delicately detailed using small pieces of green and red felt, they showcase her talent for intricate stitchwork.
Shining light on the chanukiah from Theresienstadt
November 23, 2021
This chanukiah was used by Rosalie and Ernst Salm to celebrate the festival of Chanukah, during the three years they were incarcerated in the Theresienstadt. It appears to have been made by hand from a low-grade metal; there are no distinctive marks from the chanukiah’s maker, though it was created by inmates within the walls of the ghetto-concentration camp.
A friendship book rescued from a second-hand bookshop
July 22, 2021
A small ‘autograph book’ or ‘friendship album’ kept by a young German girl came into our possession in 2015: it had been rescued from obscurity from a second-hand bookshop in Bondi in the mid-1980s. How it came to be there one can only speculate.
Preserving a lost religious world
July 1, 2021
These silver Judaica items tell a story of a lost religious world. They survived the Holocaust and post-war communism, and were smuggled out from Hungary to Australia, one by one, in the 1980s.
Brothers in arms
April 21, 2021
Brothers in arms Two orphaned brothers, separated after the deaths of both their parents, were reunited after more than a decade in the trenches of the Gallipoli battlefield. The story …
Honouring the dead
April 6, 2021
Honouring the dead Author: Emeritus Professor Konrad Kwiet, Resident Historian Jews follow religious laws and traditional rites of burying and honouring the dead. The deceased are thoroughly washed as an …
A firefighter’s charms
March 12, 2021
A firefighter’s charms These small metal charms in the Sydney Jewish Museum’s collection were made in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. They belonged to Pavel Thorsch, a member of the Feuerwache (FW); …
Reminders of humanity: Jacqueline Dale’s birthday cards
March 2, 2021
Reminders of humanity: Jacqueline Dale’s birthday cards Bordered by blue tape and creased by decades of history, the birthday cards given to Jacqueline Dale (nee Feldman) on the occasion of …
Oma’s Coffee Mug
October 7, 2020
A recent addition to our collection, this Villeroy & Boch mug that bears Nazi imagery on its base has an interesting history.
An Egyptian Rosh Hashana Seder
September 16, 2020
An Egyptian Rosh Hashana Seder The festival of Rosh Hashana is both a joyous celebration and the start of a period of ten days during which Jewish people engage in …
“Love each other. Be tolerant. Help each other.”
September 4, 2020
“Love each other. Be tolerant. Help each other.” “What legacy can I leave my children, grandchildren and great-grands? Much love. Yes… Love each other. Be tolerant. Help each other.” – …
Synagogues and memory
July 10, 2020
Synagogues and memory When synagogues were forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Jewish communities felt distressed; not necessarily at the knowledge that they couldn’t attend, but …
A wedding in Theresienstadt
May 19, 2020
This is a story about the wedding of Otto Ehrmann and Elfi Felixova in Theresienstadt in 1943, before the young couple was to learn of their fates.
Perspectives on the liberation of Bergen-Belsen
April 14, 2020
Perspectives on the liberation of Bergen-Belsen When Bergen-Belsen was liberated on 15 April 1945, a horrific landscape of death and suffering was revealed. Newsreels, photographs and sketches showed indescribable horrors. …
A tapestry of a decade’s stories
September 4, 2019
A tapestry of a decade’s stories This large tapestry of an idyllic medieval landscape recently came into our collection, bringing with it a complex and tumultuous story. Behind the colourful …
The many meanings of the festival of Shavuot
June 6, 2019
The many meanings of the festival of Shavuot The festival of Shavuot begins at sundown this Saturday, 8 June, and ends at sundown on Monday 10 June. Whilst a short …
Music personalities: Q&A with Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ Curator
May 24, 2019
Music personalities: Q&A with Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ Curator This blog piece is the second of the series of conversations between our Curator of Collections Shannon Biederman and …
Music technologies: Q&A with Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ Curator
May 23, 2019
Music technologies: Q&A with Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ Curator Our Curator of Collections Shannon Biederman sat down with Assistant Curator at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, …
The prohibited photographs of Mauthausen
March 8, 2019
The prohibited photographs of Mauthausen Inside an album that recently came into the Sydney Jewish Museum’s possession are photographs of the horrors of Nazi aggression that that took place at …
A milestone worth celebrating and collecting
January 14, 2019
A milestone worth celebrating and collecting A boy’s bar mitzvah and a girl’s bat mitzvah are rites of passage by Jewish law, and milestones in every young Jewish person’s life. …
November 29, 2018
Chanukah Greetings Chanukah is a time when we remember the attempted suppression of Jewish culture and celebrate Jewish resistance and resilience. Chanukah of 1945 was the first time that Jewish refugees, …
Children’s Week 2018
October 26, 2018
Children’s Week 2018 This week is Children’s Week. Thousands of children from different locations and backgrounds come through the Sydney Jewish Museum every year with their schools. Most of them …
Anzac Day – A day of remembrance
April 24, 2018
Anzac Day – A day of remembrance Anzac Day is a day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, that honours those who served and died in wars and conflicts. …
April 12, 2018
Toilet humour Hitler’s black ‘toothbrush’ moustache is an easily identifiable feature of this dictator’s face. Numerous cartoonists satirise his distinctive features. David Low, a prominent New Zealand political cartoonist and …
Survivor Portraits – George Grojnowski
January 29, 2018
George Grojnowski was born in Radziejow, Poland, in 1927, and was incarcerated in Radziejow Ghetto, Czestochowa Ghetto, Rakow Labour Camp and Buchenwald during the course of WWII.
A Tribute to Mala Sonnabend
January 25, 2018
A Tribute to Mala Sonnabend This weekend we commemorate the UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Liberation of Auschwitz. To remember Holocaust survivor Mala Sonnabend, who was liberated from …
January 16, 2018
Material evidence Last month, Dr Sofia Pantouvaki, Professor of Costume Design, Aalto University, Helsinki visited the Sydney Jewish Museum. She met with survivors and viewed our collection of concentration camp …