Learning from Objects

Jewish life before the Second World War

Ellen Rawson

Ellen Rawson at the National Holocaust Centre and MuseumEllen was born in Königsberg, East Prussia in 1922. Ellen, her two brothers and parents lived happily until Adolf Hitler came into power. When it became clear that Jewish people were being targeted by the Nazi government, and after the November Pogrom (also known as Kristallnacht), Ellen's parents organised for Ellen to come to England on the Kindertransport. Ellen and her brother Gert were the only survivors of the Ellen’s family.  


Explore the following objects to discover what was important in Ellen's life before coming to Britain on the Kindertransport.

Who are the people in this photograph?
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This photograph from left to right shows Ellen's father Hans, Ellen's youngest brother Heinz, Ellen's mother Margarete, and Ellen.
Where do you think they are?
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The family often went on holiday to the beaches at a place called Swinemunde in Poland, which was where Ellen's mother was born.
What do you think they are doing?
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They are sitting on the beach. They are on a family holiday at the seaside.
Why would they have taken this photograph?
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They are taking a photograph to remember their family holiday together. They are recording a happy time and a memory.

Why would this photograph be special to Ellen?

© The National Holocaust Centre and Museum