An Unusual Wedding Gift

From Our Holdings

Cardboard key for the wedding of Margarete Apt to Georg Korant; Jewish Museum Berlin, Gift of Stephanie Wells, photo: Jens Ziehe

Margarete Apt (1882–1942) and Georg Korant (1874–1937) received an unusual gift for their wedding on 4 October 1903 in Breslau. The dark brown key is hollow and made of cardboard.

A Wedding Poem

When opened, the key reveals a rolled-up note for the bridal couple bearing a song titled "Altes Eisen" (Old Iron). The lyrics, loosely translated, go:

Yes, you laugh
That it's so daft
A tingling tongue at such a thing
How fine, we said,
That it's been made,
Georg and Grete's romance ring.

The Family Collection

This key is part of an extensive collection that we received from the granddaughter of the bride and groom. The collection includes letters, photographs, and documents that shed light on a German-Jewish family in the first half of the twentieth century – from the First World War through persecution, escape efforts, and deportation under Nazi rule.

Vain Efforts to Emigrate

Georg and Margarete Korant moved to Berlin as newlyweds. When her husband died in 1937 and her daughter emigrated to the USA in early 1939, Margarete Korant tried to leave the country for the United States or Cuba. Her letters to her daughter describe her situation in Berlin after war had broken out and her futile attempts to leave the country. On 25 January 1942, she was deported to Riga where she was murdered.

Title Cardboard Key for the Wedding of Margarete Apt to Georg Korant
Collection Material Culture
Location and year of origin Breslau, 4 October 1903
Medium Cardboard
Dimensions 29,5 x 8 x 2,5 cm
Acquisition Gift of Stephanie Wells
A printed poem

Celebration song lyrics for the wedding of Margarete Apt and Georg Korant, Breslau, 4 October 1903; Jewish Museum Berlin, Gift of Stephanie Wells, photo: Jens Ziehe

Selected Objects (10) Material Culture Collection Show all

Material Culture Collection

Our objects from material culture recount Jewish life stories from Germany, attesting to athletic achievements, weddings, professional and military careers, but also disenfranchisement, persecution, and emigration.

Flag with the Star of David

In 1935, Martin Friedländer hung a blue and white flag from his window, making a confident statement against the racist Nuremberg Laws.

Frieda Neuber's Leather Pouch

Shortly before being deported to Theresienstadt, Frieder Neuber gave this leather pouch to her niece. The letters inside it document her desperate attempts to leave the country.

Memmelsdorf Genizah

In February 2002, workers renovating a house discovered a burlap sack filled with papers and personal items when they opened up a section of the ceiling. The house had been owned by Jews from 1775 to 1939.

Model of the Cargo Steamer Max

The Hamburg shipowner Arnold Bernstein received this model of his first ship in 1929 as a gift for his company's tenth anniversary. Eight years later, his career ended abruptly. He was detained and only managed to escape Germany at the last minute.

Max Haller's Collection of Medals

Max Haller fought in the First World War for the Imperial German Navy. When SA members threatened him during the April Boycott of 1933, he pointedly placed a velvet cushion with his military distinctions in the shop window.

Cardboard Key for the Korants’ Wedding

Margarete Apt and Georg Korant received an unusual gift for their wedding on 4 October 1903 in Breslau. The dark brown key is made of cardboard and can be opened.

Dr. Oscar Hirschberg's Office Signs

A total of seven office signs used by Dr. Oscar Hirschberg document both his career as a practicing physician and the political changes and antisemitic exclusion during the period of Nazi rule.

The Sommerfelds’ Thirty-One Keys

Thirty-one keys – that's all that remains of the luggage the Sommerfeld family took with them when they emigrated from Berlin. They only managed to leave for England at the very last minute – just before the Second World War broke out.

Challenge Trophy from the Oberspree Jewish Rowing Club

The member of the Oberspree Jewish rowing club who logged the most kilometers in the water over the course of a year was awarded a challenge trophy. Fred Eisenberg won the award three years in a row.

Stamping Hammer, Invented by Gustav Maletzki

This stamping hammer, made around 1930, is one of the patented inventions for which the apparel furrier earned several awards. In 1938, Gustav Maletzki was forced to escape Germany and brought the hammer to exile in Bolivia.


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