Accession Number: NEKHC:2009.21

Object: Laundry Bag

Category: Rudi Oppenheimer; Germany; The Netherlands; Westerbork; Bergen-Belsen 

Physical Description:  Cream cloth laundry bag with red and black pattern to front and rear. Handstitched lettering reads 'Tischwäsch & Handtüchor' across breadth of bag. English translation reads 'tableware and towels'. Item in complete condition. 

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 This laundry bag belonged to Rudi Oppenheimer, it came with a large trunk which was originally used by Rudi's parents. The family were living in Holland when they were deported by the Nazi regime ultimately to Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp. The bag was returned to Rudi after his liberation, and the end of the Second World War, along with the trunk, which a neighbour had collected after their arrest and secretly stored. 

Further Information:  This laundry bag came inside a big trunk, which was also donated by Rudi, who is the brother of Paul and Eve Oppenheimer. Rudi was born on 1 October 1931, in Berlin, Germany. He was the middle of three children, and although he was born in Germany, the family were living in Holland at the time of their arrest by the Nazi regime. At the time of their deportation by the Nazis, Rudi’s mother had already packed the trunk with as many of their belongings as she could including clothing and paperwork, it was then collected by a downstairs neighbour who had agreed to hide it for them. The trunk used to have the Oppenheimer’s initials on the top, however these were blackened off to prevent them giving away that the trunk was being stored for a Jewish family. The trunk was given back to Rudi and his siblings after the end of the Second World War.