Visit us At 5th and Market Streets on Independence Mall



It's Your Story

Admission

Members Free
Adults $12
Seniors (ages 65 & up) $11
Youth (ages 13-21) $11
Children (ages 12 & under) Free
Active military (with ID) Free*
 

Discounted admission rates are available to groups of 15 or more people. Group visits must be booked in advance through Group Sales to receive these discounts and other group options.  

 

*As a Blue Star Museum, we additionally offer free admission to up to 5 immediate family members (spouse or children) of active military personnel from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  

Hershkowitz Family Trunk

 

This large wardrobe trunk has been an important part of our Hershkowitz family history for as long as I can remember. This trunk along with boxes of other belongings and family treasures, represents how my parents, Martin and Halina Hershkowitz, who are Holocaust Survivors, and my older sister Sheila, who was just three years old at the time, travelled on a ship named the General Muir from Germany to come to the U.S. to make a new life for themselves. This trunk travelled with the Hershkowitz family from New York, in 1951 to Washington D.C. as my parents were sponsored by a couple through the HIAS agency and so this is where they came to live first in the U.S. From there in 1952, the family moved with the trunk and all their belongings to a chicken farm in Stockton, New Jersey. Slowly, year by year, my parents worked hard to build up their egg business and raise a traditional Jewish family as best they could. Two more children were born, my brother William, in 1955 and myself, Pearl, in 1961. Fast forward 21 years, and the Hershkowitz family moved from New Jersey to sunny Miami Beach, Florida, in 1973. My sister Sheila had married the year earlier, and moved to California with her husband, Jay Witzling. The trunk was shipped down to Florida with all of our good furniture, and has been kept in a closet all of these years. Once in a while my mother would open it, and pull out some old clothes, and a fur coat she kept there in moth balls. The moth ball smell was awful, so I didn't look too closely as to what was inside the trunk. Most recently, on January 15,2012, my brother came to visit and pulled the trunk out of my mother's closet. Together we opened up the trunk and carefully inspected each of the drawers to see what was left inside. This time we found an old brown manila envelope from the U.S. Displaced Persons Commission containing: A Souvenir newsletter from the General Muir Ship, titled:" Daily Muiror Souvenir Edition" No. 10 dated (Maerz 12) March 12, 1951. This is a wonderful historical document of the General Muir ship, it's passengers, and the Captain and crew who worked on board. There are detailed hand drawn illustrations of the Captain and crew members, with a passage of comments and good wishes from many of them in several languages. There are also random drawings of some of the people on board. There is also a statistics section listing the number of passengers and from which country they came from: Albania, Bulgaria, Czeckoslovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Russia. My parents were from Ksiaz Wielki, Poland before the war. They embarked on the General Muir ship from Germany on March 3, 1951 and arrived ten days later in New York, on March 13, 1951. Now we have documented proof of this voyage. In the same manila envelope from the U.S. Displaced Persons Commission, we also found an instructional notice in Polish and other pages typed in English regarding listings of accredited agencies as of June 27, 1950, and other pages with listings of 34 Commissions and Committees for Resettlement of Displaced Persons organized A-Z by State. The envelope cover itself is stamped "Important", "Read Carefully" and " Study" in three languages noting the importance of the information given. Sincerely, Pearl Landesman