Jacket from Holo­caust found at garage sale

China Daily (USA) - - WORLD - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in New York

The blue and gray stripes struck Jil­lian Eis­man like a light­ning bolt.

She was rum­mag­ing through a packed closet dur­ing aLong Is­land garage sale­when she im­me­di­ately rec­og­nized the sym­bol of hor­ror and hate: a jacket worn by a pris­oner at theNaz­iDachau­con­cen­tra­tion camp dur­ingWorldWar II.

“I knew ex­actly what it was, even be­fore I sawthe num­bers (84679 on the chest),” said Eis­man, who bought the jacket for $2 at the sale last year and do­nated it to the Kupfer­berg Holo­caust Cen­ter in­NewYork.

Cu­ra­tors put the jacket on dis­play and also un­earthed the sto­ryof the per­son­whowor­eit: a teenager forced to make mu­ni­tions for the Ger­man war ef­fort, spent four years inare­lo­ca­tion camp and then came to Amer­ica, never telling his chil­dren much about Dachau or that he kept the jacket.

The story of Ben­zion Peresecki — who later be­came Ben Peres— is told in ex­tra­or­di­nary de­tail, thankslargely tothe­se­rial num­ber and care­ful records he kept and that his daugh­ter found long af­ter he died.

Holo­caust his­to­ri­ans say jack­ets such as the one saved by Peres are fairly rare, since most of the cloth­ing worn by con­cen­tra­tion camp prison­ers was burned be­cause of lice and other po­ten­tial dis­eases. Also, most freed prison­ers didn’t want to keep re­minders of their hor­ri­fy­ing or­deal.

Eis­man, whose brother, Joshua Birn­baum, was killed in the ter­ror at­tacks on Sept 11, 2001, said she feels “ev­ery­thing hap­pens for a rea­son.”

“There is a rea­son why I was friends with some­one who worked at a Holo­caust mu­seum. What are the chances of that? It is dif­fi­cult to say ev­ery­thing is a co­in­ci­dence.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.