Suitcase of Max Nagel
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Gift of Max Nagel
Id no. 124.90, Luggage
Subject(s):  Journey, Bricha
Max Nagel used this suitcase as he traveled from Lodz, Poland to Germany, Italy, Cyprus, Palestine, and finally to New York from 1945 through 1953.

Nagel was born in April 1920, in Warsaw, Poland. His home was bombed by Germany on the first day of the second world war, September 1, 1939. All of his family members who were home at the time were killed. Nagel survived the bombing and ran until he reached the countryside. His escape route took him through Bialystok, Vilna, and Shavl (Siauliai).

When the Nazis invaded Shavl, he was deported and interned in the Vilna ghetto for four years. When the ghetto was liquidated, Nagel was chosen to pack the Nazi officers? possessions. He was able to escape during the excitement and activity by hiding on the train tracks. Nagel moved on to Macoshena where he worked in a wood mill in order to avoid Soviet Army service, and then went on to Kiev. In the winter of 1945 he returned to a liberated Lodz to find that no one else from his family had survived. He became involved with the clandestine Bricha movement, helping Jews immigrate to Palestine, to which he immigrated as well.

On his way to Palestine in 1946, Nagel was interned by the British for a year on Cyprus before he sneaked onto a Palestine bound ship dressed as a Palestinian official. One day after arriving in Palestine in 1947, he was drafted into the Haganah (the Jewish underground defense forces which later was integrated into the Israel Defense Forces). Nagel served until 1949. He settled in Brooklyn in 1953, and worked as an electrician.
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