Accession Number: NEKHC:2015.75

Object: Brush

Category: Simon Winston; Radzivillov; Ghetto; The Nazi Camp System; Hiding; Refugee

Physical Description:  Brush; incomplete and fragile item. This item is on a loan restriction.

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This brush belonged to Simon Winston, who was born in 1938 in Radzivillov, then Poland, now Ukraine. This brush was used by Simon's father to hide chunks of gold so it could be used to facilitate their survival during the Holocaust. Some of the gold was used to engineer the family's escape from a Ghetto, and then to support the family in hiding, where they remained in until their liberation by Russian troops in 1945.  

Further Information:  Simon was born in 1938, in Radzivillov which at that time was in Poland, and is now in Ukraine. He lived happily with his family until the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. In 1941 Nazi soldiers arrived in Radivillov, and a ghetto was established. Simon and his family were held there until September 1942, when Simon’s father engineered their escape using some of the gold he had previously hidden. The family then went into hiding, and remained in hiding until just prior to the end of the Second World War when Russian troops liberated the area. The brush was common where Simon lived, so it did not draw special attention. Simon’s father had sawn a layer off the top of the brush and created a hollow chamber inside the wood. He then hid the gold inside the brush and used small screws to replace the top and ensure it hid the gold. This brush and the gold became instrumental in saving the lives of Simon, his brother and his parents.
Simon only learned of the gold bars after the Holocaust, when he found this remaining gold bar and asked his father about it. His father told him of his hiding several chunks of gold, showing him the brush and its secret chamber, and telling him of using one in their escape from the Ghetto by bribing a guard. His father also used some of the hidden gold to pay for the family’s hiding places, and support their living.