Hair of Holocaust victim on baby doll
ANTALYA – DHA
A 78-year-old baby doll with the hair of an unidentified Jewish girl, who was slaughtered in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II in 1941, is the center of attention at the Anatolian Toy Museum in the southern province of Antalya.
Jewish authorities, who want to reach the murdered girl’s living family members through DNA analysis, took a pinch of the hair with special permission.
The Anatolian Toy Museum, which opened in 2017 in the Dokumapark area by Kepez Municipality of Antalya attracts visitors of all ages with its exhibit of toys and artifacts.
The museum - also home to the toys of Kepez Mayor Hakan Tütüncü - grew by 60 percent within a short time. With more than 13,000 toys and artifacts, the museum transports visitors to the imaginative world of children and their own childhoods.
Over 500,000 people visited during the first year after the museum’s debut. Officials visited 16 European countries and all over Anatolia to collect the various works and toys in the museum.
Among the most popular toys is the baby doll with the Jewish girl’s hair. The doll was bought from a special exhibition of a curator in Germany and taken to the museum in Antalya. The doll is displayed inside a glass cabinet.
Emrah Ünlüsoy, director of the Anatolian Toy Museum, said the baby doll “is a very precious artifact of the museum, and it has a very touching story. In Nazi Germany, some 1,000 Jews were being slaughtered every day in Auschwitz.
Before being killed, girls’ hair was cut and used on the dolls produced for rich German children. This is the tragedy of baby dolls with real hair.”
Ünlüsoy said that hearing about the doll from tour guides, tourists visiting the city insist on seeing it. He said that some Jewish visitors shed tears when seeing the doll.
Officials of a Jewish civil society organization visited the museum in November 2017 and made requests about the doll, which has been on display at the museum since 2017.
“Some visitors from the Jewish community informed their own civil society organizations. And they got in touch with us and asked for a pinch of hair from the doll. When we asked what they would do with it, they said they wanted to reach the girl’s family with DNA tests. We helped them with special permission.”
Auschwitz was the largest concentration camp and was located in the small Polish city of Oswiecim, 66 kilometers west of Krakow. At least 1.3 million people were sent to the camp between 1940 and 1945, and at least 1.1 million of them were killed there.