Metal headband with two striped fabric circles sewn at each end to be worn as ear protection.These prisoner earmuffs belonged to Israel Viezel, a former prisoner of the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald concentration camps. Narrative: Israel Viezel was born in January 1919 in Marosvásárhely (Hungary) a town known today as Târgu Mure? in Romania. Raised in a religious family, he was attending a yeshiva in Sziget to become a rabbi when the Nazis invaded the region. On May 3, 1944, Israel was among the 8,638 Jews of Târgu Mure? to be forced into three ghettos and deported the same month to Auschwitz the same month. Selected for slave labour in Auschwitz, Israel was working in the forests surrounding the camp. He was later transferred to the concentration camp of Buchenwald. Israel survived the camps, as did three of his siblings. His parents, two sisters and one brother were killed in Auschwitz. After the end of the war, Israel returned to Romania and spent some time in Israel. He finally immigrated to New Brunswick, where one of his sisters had settled. After a few months in Saint John, he relocated to Montreal. Israel worked in several restaurants on the Saint-Laurent Boulevard before opening his own deli, “Israel Delicatessen”, on Decarie Boulevard. In 1965, due to construction on the road for the upcoming Expo 67, Israel Delicatessen had to close. Mr. Viezel took that opportunity to spend some vacation visiting his brother in Israel. This is where he met Talia, a child survivor from Romania, who would become his wife. They lived together in Montreal until his death in 1999.
Jacket : blue, grey, black, beige ; Ht: 77 cm x W: 58 cm
Other Title Information
Blue and grey vertically striped jacket with folded collar and 5 black buttons in front. Jacket has been altered to fit smaller female with one dart in the front right side and two darts on the left and right back side. Sewn on the inside back panel is a bias tape holding the jacket to its smaller side. On the top left side of the jacket is sewn a cotton tag printed with the prisoner's number. Underside of the collar is applied with different fabric; also with blue and grey stripes but in different hues than the jacket. Narrative: Jacket was given as a prisoner's uniform to the donor, Irma (Imy) Nemenoff-Gellert a few days after her arrival in Auschwitz-Birkenau on June 11, 1944. Imy (Irma) was born in Lugoj, Romania (or. Austro-Hungarian empire). She lived in Timisoara then in Cluj-Napoca. Her last domicile prior to deportation was in Cluj. She was in captivity from May 17, 1944 to May 5, 1945. By the time she deported to Auschwitz II-Birkenau (Poland), she was married but had no child. Her husband was killed in Auschwitz upon arrival and Imy was selected to work. In the camp, she worked in the “shit commando”, empty human excrements from the latrines; she also was made to dig with pickets holes in the ground. She became a liaison officer, doing some translation work. At the end of the war she was deported to Mauthausen (Austria), where she was liberated by the US Armed forces. Imy’s parents stayed in Romania and were not deported. After Liberation, Imy worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) with the US Army, doing clerical work and translation for a Colonel. She was fluent in English as she was given private lessons before the war. She immigrated to Canada in 1946.