VINTAGE CLOTHING

A Kitchener descendant writes:

I recently connected with old friends Simon and Dina, who I have not seen for 40+ years – since they moved to Washington DC. But I am seeing them next week in London. Dina has recently written Stolen Legacy about her attempt to recover her family’s substantial business property in Berlin: www.stolenlegacy.com

Dina tells me she has a friend whose book about the rise and destruction of the German Jewish fashion industry will be published next month: https://www.ipgbook.com/fashion-metropolis-berlin-1836-----1939-products-9783894878061.php?page_id=21

Journalist Uwe Westphal’s Fashion Metropolis Berlin, 1836–1939: The Story of the Rise and Destruction of the Jewish Fashion Industrywill be published in German and English in March 2019. It charts the rise of the Jewish fashion industry in Berlin and its destruction at the hands of the Nazis – through Aryanisation, theft, and persecution. Dina Gold, whose family once owned Berlin’s largest international fur business, has been working with Uwe. She has written a chapter in his book charting the history of her family’s fashion company, the 1937 forced sale of the building it was housed in, and her battle for restitution beginning in 1989 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

Uwe and Dina have already presented to audiences in the USA on this topic and they are now interested in acquiring some samples of pre-war Jewish German manufactured fashion items to be shown at lectures in conjunction with the launch of the book. They hope that children and grandchildren of people who found refuge in the UK and who have articles of clothing as well as company labels, coat hangers, letterheads, model drawings, photographs/film footage of fashion shows, workshops or shop windows from the 1920s and ’30s might be willing to donate or lend them.

If you are able to help, please contact: 

Uwe Westphal:  officewestphal@gmail.com

Dina Gold:  dinajgold@gmail.com

Kitchener Camp, Items brought out of Germany – silver cigarette case

If you are able to help, please contact: 

Uwe Westphal:  officewestphal@gmail.com

Dina Gold:  dinajgold@gmail.com

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The following link is to an article in Haarezt about Uwe Westphal’s work:

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-nazis-who-stripped-the-jewish-clothing-industry-bare-1.5931221?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

And there is a link to his research materials at Leo Baeck, as follows:

http://digifindingaids.cjh.org/?pID=2338356

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I have been interested for a while – since starting this project really – in what the Kitchener men might have chosen to bring to Britain with them. Many of us have assumed, I think, that they were not able to bring very much, yet witness accounts and interviews suggest otherwise and describe many trunks and boxes on trains and on the dockside. Some families still have storage receipts and invoices because, it would seem, not everything could be housed at the camp in the luggage stores.

Kitchener Camp, Items brought out of Germany – silk bag for shirt collars

Our fathers and grandfathers were certainly restricted in what they could bring out, but there do not seem to have been many restrictions on how much they could leave with in terms of unrestricted terms – as long as they could afford the shipping and storage costs, presumably.

Kitchener Camp, Items brought out of Germany – travel-size clothes brush

In the case of Werner Weissenberg, he brought out quite a number of things that we still have, but perhaps most notable was his collection of books. I think he must have packed just about every school and university book he’d ever owned. A few are shown below.

We’d love to hear more about the items Kitchener men brought out of Germany – you know how to get in touch …

Kitchener Camp, Werner Weissenberg, Books brought out of Germany, 1939
Kitchener Camp, Werner Weissenberg, Books brought out of Germany, 1939
Kitchener Camp, Werner Weissenberg, Books brought out of Germany, 1939
Kitchener Camp, Werner Weissenberg, Books brought out of Germany, 1939
Biltz was one of Werner Weissenberg’s lecturers at the University of Breslau