Camilla's Purse

January 24, 2014 – May 4, 2014
National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC
2nd Floor, East Wing, Albert Small Documents Gallery

Holocaust survivor Camilla Gottlieb’s ordinary life in Vienna was upended by World War II into crisis, imprisonment, and ultimately a new life in the United States. Her purse, discovered by her family after her death in 1964, contained letters and papers that trace her trials and triumphs. These documents reveal a compelling story of captivity in the Theresienstadt concentration camp to eventual reunion with her daughter in New York. On view are the purse; her 1884 birth certificate; the suitcase, with her identification tag, that she carried during her journey to America; and various personal items collected from her time in the camp through her new life in America.