False identity card of Cornelia Braun in the name of Kornelia Brasinova
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Gift of John Balan
Id no. 539.98, Document, German, Slovak
This false identity card was used by Cornelia Braun in 1944 while she was in hiding in Bratislava, Slovakia. Cornelia was born as a Jew in 1908, but converted to Christianity in 1919. When she married Alexander Braun in 1933 the couple had a Jewish ceremony, as per the husband?s wishes, but in 1938 Alexander and their son, Jan (later, John), were also baptized. The family hoped this would offer them some protection from the dangers which they feared were imminent for Jews. When the Nazis entered Slovakia, the family began using false documents to hide their Jewish origins. In 1944, Cornelia Braun assumed the alias of Kornelia Brasinova, as indicated in this identity card. Her son, Jan, used documents under several different Slavic sounding names, including Viktor Brakovic, Peter Dubravicky, and Jan Abranic. With the help of friends, the Brauns produced these documents, found various hiding places, eluded frequent roundups, and survived through the final years of the war. After the Soviets liberated Slovakia, the members of the Braun family emerged from their various hiding places, reunited, and adopted the last name Balan. They moved to the United States in 1948.

Discover more about this artifact and other stories from the Museum?s collection in, ?To Life: 36 Stories of Memory and Hope? http://www.pickmanmuseumshop.com/tolif36storo.html.
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