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An Unusual Wedding Gift

From Our Holdings

Dark-brown cardboard key containing a rolled-up piece of paper

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

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Selected Objects: Material Culture Collection (10)