Baby Doll

What can we see?

We can see two blue eyes and rosy pink cheeks. We can also see holes in the Baby Doll’s clothing.

Look again, what can you see?

What do we know?

This baby doll was secretly taken to England from Germany on the Kindertransport in May 1939 by a young girl called Edith Rothschild. The doll is ceramic which makes it delicate and heavier than plastic. The face is painted and the clothes are handmade. The joins between the head, body and limbs can bend and the word ‘Germany’ is printed on the back of her neck.

Edith Rothschild who was born in Frankfurt in 1925. On 11th May 1939, when Edith was 14 years old, she came to Britain on the Kindertransport carrying the doll with her. She had to smuggle it in her luggage because her mother told her she was too old for dolls. When Edith arrived in Britain she went to live with a foster family in Cambridge. Her sister, who had come to Britain on a Kindertransport a couple of months earlier, stayed with a family in the same town. In 1941, Edith went to live with her aunt who was living in London. Her father emigrated to England in 1939, and in 1943 Edith was finally able to live with him. Her mother Martha was not able to escape Germany and did not survive the war.

What do we wonder?

We might wonder what happened to her other sock? How old was Edith when she got this doll?

What do you wonder?

Object File

Object Name: Baby Doll

Date: 1930s

Catalogue Number: 2007.36.2

Material(s): Ceramic, thread, wool

Size: 10.2 cm x 4.7 cm

On display at the Jewish Museum: Yes

In 1933 Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party came to power in Germany and from the start openly singled out the Jews. On 9th November 1938, the Nazis organized a violent attack against Jews across Germany, known as The Night of Broken Glass. This night marked a turning point and many Jews were now desperate to leave Germany and move somewhere safer. After this terrible event, the British government allowed more people to move to Britain from Germany and Austria. This rescue mission became known as the Kindertransport. Between December 1938 and September 1939 nearly 10,000 Jewish refugee children were admitted into Britain.

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