Scroll of Esther Case
Filigree Scroll of Esther (Megillah Esther) case, late 19th century. Helen’s parents gave it to her when she left Poland for Australia in 1959 at the age of 18. The family had survived World War II in eastern Poland, first in a ghetto and then in hiding. After the war, Helen spent her childhood in communist Poland. One reason she emigrated to Australia was to escape the antisemitism she experienced under communist rule.
In regard to her parents’ gift, Helen said, “One lesson my mother was determined we will never forget was to be proudly Jewish, since anything else would have given victory to Hitler and desecrated the memory of all the members of our family who lost their life in the Holocaust.” The scroll had been in Helen’s family for generations.
The Megillah Esther, a Biblical Scroll of Esther, is read on Purim. This festival commemorates the triumph of Esther and Mordechai over Haman, who sought to exterminate all the Jews of the Persian Empire.
Donated by Helen Studencki nee Freifeld
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