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Photograph and Wallet Belonging to Harry Fransman

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Harry Fransman hid his leather wallet in the ceiling above his top bunk in Blechhammer, a subcamp of Auschwitz, where he was incarcerated for three years during World War II. The wallet held family photographs, including this one of himself (right), his older brother (left) and a friend (middle). The photo was taken on the beach in Scheveningen, near The Hague, in 1942, just before Harry was deported to Auschwitz. He treasured his wallet, keeping it close to him throughout the war.

In addition to Blechhammer, Harry endured the perilous conditions of Gross Rosen. When he was deported to Buchenwald, he decided that escape was the only way to survive. He leapt from the train into the snow. Pretending to be a Dutch Catholic boy, Harry rejoined society and evaded recapture by the Gestapo. His situation remained precarious until American tanks arrived in 1944. After Liberation Harry returned to Holland and then settled in Australia.

                                                       Donated by Harry Fransman
                                                       M1992/011:001, M1992/011:003

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