The Story of a Jacket’s Secret Journey, From Dachau to Queens by the Forward

The Story of a Jacket’s Secret Journey, From Dachau to Queens

More than four decades after his death, Holocaust survivor Ben Peres is telling his story, thanks to a collector’s discovery of his his inmate jacket from the Dachau concentration camp at a Long Island estate sale.

Belonging to Ben Peres, the rare item was found last year when his wife Chaya was clearing out her home in Bellmore, Long Island. When a collector noticed the jacket, he notified the Kupferberg Holocaust Center of Queensborough Community College, which authenticated the item and put it on display.

Peres, born Benzion Peretski in Lithuania, immigrated to the United States after World War II, when he was imprisoned in Dachau. He used his reparations payment from the German government to put a downpayment on the Bellmore home, where he lived with Chaya and his two children Michael and Lorrie. Peres died in 1972 at 52 years old, never mentioning the jacket to his wife or children.

His two children donated more than 1,500 family documents and artifacts to the center, which will be using them to put together an exhibit about Peres and his Dachau memento.

“This authentic jacket provides anyone who comes near it an opportunity to be instantly [transported] into the past. Few Holocaust survivor stories can be told so completely,” said Dan Leshem, director of the Holocaust center, in KHC’s press release.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

Author

Daniel J. Solomon

Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.

Holocaust Survivor’s Dachau Jacket Goes on Display in Queens

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

The Story of a Jacket’s Secret Journey, From Dachau to Queens

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close