Accession Number: NEKHC:2010.11.1-2

Object: Letter and Envelope

Category: Victoria Ancona-Vincent; The Victoria Ancona-Vincent Collection; Italy; Fossoli Transit Camp; Auschwitz; Ravensbrück; Malchow; Leipzig; Death Marches; Cottbus 

Physical Description: Envelope and Letter. Paper, written ink. Fragile

Information on Item: This letter and envelope form part of the Victoria Ancona-Vincent Collection. It was written by Victoria's sister, Olga, to inform her family of her arrest.  

Further Information: This letter forms part of the Victoria Ancona-Vincent Collection. Victoria was the youngest of nine siblings and this letter was written by Victoria’s older sister, Olga. Olga wrote the letter in 1944, after her arrest, whilst she was being transported in a cattle truck. Olga was well-educated and intuitive, she decided to use false names to protect other family members who had not yet been arrested, and who she thought may not have been known about by the Nazi regime. Particularly Olga did not want their father, who remained in Milan, to be discovered. The large family had differing options in the face of increasing danger from Nazi persecution and another sister, Rachel, had gone into hiding in the south of Italy with a dance troupe. Therefore it was important to Olga that her family’s identities and whereabouts remain protected. Olga also gave herself a pseudonym and wrote under the name ‘O Louette’ in order to inform her family and friends of her arrest. Although Victoria and Olga were both held in Auschwitz, they were deported separately and neither knew of the other’s arrival. They met in Auschwitz-Birkenau by chance, as Victoria recognised Olga’s voice amid a passing group of inmates. The sisters kept the fact that they were related a secret for fear of it being used against them by the Nazi guards. On Victoria’s twenty first birthday which happened during her captivity in Auschwitz, Olga gave Victoria a clove of garlic as a gift, she had managed to acquire it in secret. 

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