A special object was donated to the Silesian Museum in Görlitz in November 2014: a large, solidly built wardrobe trunk. This imposing piece of luggage and furniture bears the markings of long journeys and intensive use. In 1939, it accompanied Herbert Schneidemann on his escape to Shanghai.
Herbert Schneidemann was born in 1895 into a Jewish family in 
deu. Breslau, lat. Wratislavia, lat. Vratislavia, ces. Vratislav

Wrocław (German: Breslau) is one of the largest cities in Poland (population in 2022: 674,079). It is located in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship in the southwest of the country.
Initially under Bohemian, Piast and at other times Hungarian rule, the Habsburgs took over the Silesian territories in 1526, including Wrocław. Another turning point in the city's history was the occupation of Wroclaw by Prussian troops in 1741 and the subsequent incorporation of a large part of Silesia into the Kingdom of Prussia.
The dramatic increase in population and the fast-growing industrialization led to the rapid urbanization of the suburbs and their incorporation, which was accompanied by the demolition of the city walls at the beginning of the 19th century. By 1840, Breslau had already grown into a large city with 100,000 inhabitants. At the end of the 19th century, the cityscape, which was often still influenced by the Middle Ages, changed into a large city in the Wilhelmine style. The highlight of the city's development before the First World War was the construction of the Exhibition Park as the new center of Wrocław's commercial future with the Centennial Hall from 1913, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006.
In the 1920s and 30s, 36 villages were incorporated and housing estates were built on the outskirts of the city. In order to meet the great housing shortage after the First World War, housing cooperatives were also commissioned to build housing estates.
Declared a fortress in 1944, Wrocław was almost completely destroyed during the subsequent fightings in the first half of 1945. Reconstruction of the now Polish city lasted until the 1960s.
Of the Jewish population of around 20,000, only 160 people found their way back to the city after the Second World War. Between 1945 and 1947, most of the city's remaining or returning - German - population was forced to emigrate and was replaced by people from the territory of the pre-war Polish state, including the territories lost to the Soviet Union.
After the political upheaval of 1989, Wrocław rose to new, impressive heights. The transformation process and its spatial consequences led to a rapid upswing in the city, supported by Poland's accession to the European Union in 2004. Today, Wrocław is one of the most prosperous cities in Poland.

. After being arrested on Pogrom Night in 1938 and imprisoned for a short time in Buchenwald concentration camp, he and his non-Jewish wife decided that he would emigrate to Shanghai, while she was to remain in Wroclaw with their son and daughter. Their divorce was to ensure their survival. 
At that time, Shanghai was the only place that Jews could escape to where no visa was required. Between 1938 and 1941, about 18,000 Jews, mainly from Germany and Austria, came to the distant, foreign city, which was occupied by Japan. For most of the refugees, exile in Shanghai meant living in the poorest conditions. The majority settled in the Hongkou district. The district had been badly destroyed in the course of the Sino-Japanese War, and aid organizations had set up so-called "homes" and commercial kitchens from 1938 on. The refugees mostly lived in these crowded and cramped accommodations and were dependent on the meals provided by the canteen kitchens. The social situation took a turn for the worse with the outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941, which also brought a worsening of the economic situation, both for the local population and the refugees. Japan also took complete control of the hitherto divided city and established a "Designated Area" in the Hongkou district – probably under pressure from Germany – sometimes referred to as a ghetto. After initially banning mainly cultural and charitable organizations, Japan introduced housing and employment restrictions in 1943, which meant residents could only leave the district with a passenger permit.
Although Germany demanded that its ally Japan murder its Jewish population, they were spared. Herbert Schneidemann also survived. The wardrobe trunk served as his only piece of furniture. In 1947, he returned to his family, who had finally started a new life in Munich after fleeing Wroclaw – again with the trunk as his luggage.
English translation: William Connor

Siehe auch