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Accession Number: NEKHC:2015.49

Object: Doll

Physical Description:  Celluloid and fabric doll, delicate. This item is incomplete and on a loan restriction.


Information: Doll belonging to Hedi Argent. Hedi was able to bring this doll with when she left Vienna with her parents, due to Nazi persecution.

Further Information

Hedi Argent was born in 1929, and lived in a suburb of Vienna, Austria with her parents Max and Liza. Hedi’s father was a lawyer and her mother trained as a chemist before raising Hedi. Although the family were Jewish they did not practice. As the family became more restricted by anti-Jewish laws, Hedi’s father lost his job and they lost their home and many belongings. The family managed to leave Austria intending to travel to the United States of America, but stayed in England as the Second World War prevented further travel. This doll called ‘Little Susi’ belonged to Hedi as a young girl in Vienna, speaking of her doll in 2016 Hedi says:

This is Little Susi, you can see she is very little in fact she is a doll’s doll. She was my big Susi’s little doll and my Big Susi I had given me when I was eight years old. She was made of celluloid and looked exactly like little Susi, only she was really much, much bigger. You can imagine that this was her little doll, and Big Susi was absolutely lovely, I adored her. She had big round eyes, soft glass eyes that looked very sweet. When I was eight and a half and the Anschluss came we started to try and get away, and finally got away one and a half years later, of course we could not bring anything with us except a small suitcase each. We had to leave all our belongings, all our savings, and jewellery, anything that was of value and there was no room for Big Susi; Big Susi was far too big.
Little Susi will always remain very important in my life because in a way for me, she symbolises not only what we brought with us when we came, which was very little, but what we left behind, which was a great deal and not only Big Susi but everything else we owned, and more than that all the people we left behind, that we never saw again.

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