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The Artifacts Collection

Artifacts in the Holocaust History Museum

Wooden Duck Used by the French Underground for Smuggling Documents

  • A hollow wooden duck that was used to smuggle documents. The toy was used by Judith Geller in the course of her activities in the French Resistance, in her guise as a social worker visiting children
  • The hollow wooden duck opened to show the space where documents were hidden. The toy was used by Judith Geller in the course of her activities in the French Resistance, in her guise as a social worker visiting children
  • A false document in the name of Jaqueline Gauthier used by Judith Geller, a member of the French Resistance

In the course of her activities in the French underground, Judith Geller (or as she was known by her pseudonym - Jacqueline Gauthier) received a hollow toy duck containing hidden documents. The duck was added to a collection of toys used by Judith under her assumed identity as a children’s social worker. The duck was made by “Kor” who brought people from Holland to France, and was connected to both the French and Dutch undergrounds. Judith received the duck from him after she was arrested with a package of documents belonging to the underground that miraculously was not discovered by the Germans.

Born in Metz, Judith Geller was 17 years old when the war broke out. In 1941, her older brother Joel was arrested and sent to the Pithiviers camp, and later deported to Auschwitz, where he perished. Judith’s parents and younger brother hid in occupied Paris while Judith walked around “openly” with false papers under the assumed name of Jacqueline Gautier. She worked for the underground, smuggling documents and false papers. Judith also organized false papers for her mother, and a hiding place for her parents and brother. During the war, Judith continued to see her beloved, Alfred Marcus (a good friend of her elder brother Joel) who was imprisoned in a detention camp for British subjects. After the war, Judith married Alfred and together they immigrated to Israel.

Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection
Loaned by Judith (Geller) Marcus, Petach Tikva, Israel

Additional artifacts in the Holocaust History Museum