A European Escape: The Journey of the Neustein Family

Hancock Presents: Selections from the Permanent Collection

The Florida Holocaust Museum is pleased to present a new exhibition A European Escape: The Journey of the Neustein Family. These items from The FHM’s permanent collection were recently donated and are on display now in the “Hancock Bank Presents: Highlights from the Museum’s Permanent Collection” space on the third floor of the Museum.

After a visit to The FHM last year, Colin Jenkins contacted the Museum’s Exhibitions staff to ask if they would have any interest in accepting his grandfather’s Austrian passport as a donation. When Museum staff met to accept the donation, he brought a treasure-trove of other objects related to his family. Jenkins donated a total of 118 items, including identification papers belonging to his grandparents Lucie and Leopold Neustein, letters, a marriage certificate, original photographs from before and after the war and original artwork created by his grandmother Lucie.

Jenkins’ grandparents were originally from Lvov, Poland but moved to Vienna in the 1920s. The couple had two children Erik and Marietta. Leopold was a Doctor of Law but worked with his father-in-law in their timber export business. Lucie was an accomplished artist, trained at Vienna’s Academy of Art. After Anschluss in 1938 and the institution of anti-Jewish laws, it became apparent to the family that they had to leave their home. Erik was sent to England first but, considered an adult at age 17, he was sent to live in an internment camp in Canada. It was initially feared that German Jews arriving in England and Canada could be spies and as such they were sent to camps in Canada and Australia. Marietta followed on the Kindertransport and was sent to a boarding school in Scotland. Lucie and Leopold fled Vienna for Agen, a small city in the south of France where they apparently lived as Gentiles. Marietta worked as an artist in order to earn money. The couple remained in France even after liberation while Erik and Marietta, then adults, stayed in Great Britain.

Central to the mission of The FHM is the program to collect, preserve, and make available to the public the historical record and artistic and interpretation of the Holocaust and other genocides. The Museum collects and maintains the material that supports its efforts in the areas of research, exhibition, education, and commemoration. The focus of The FHM’s collecting efforts is on the policies, events, and experiences associated with the Holocaust.

For donation inquiries, please contact Erin Blankenship, The FHM’s Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at eblankenship@thefhm.org.

A European Escape: The Journey of the Neustein Family is on display now at The Florida Holocaust Museum.