Bearing Witness: Stories Behind the Artifacts in the Yad Vashem Museum Collection

Purim costume that belonged to Rachel-Sarah Osmo from Corfu, Greece

Rachel-Sarah perished in Auschwitz

Costume of a Greek freedom fighter that belonged to Rachel-Sarah Osmo from Corfu, GreeceCostume of a Greek freedom fighter that belonged to Rachel-Sarah Osmo from Corfu, Greece   More photos

Rachel Sarah was the youngest daughter of Eliahu and Esther Osmo who lived on the Greek island of Corfu with their five children: Leone-Yehuda, Yehudit-Agnes, Irena, Nata and the youngest Rachel-Sarah. In 1941 [the island of] Corfu was captured by the Italians, and two years later it was taken over by the Germans. By April 1944, when the orders to deport the Jews became effective, rumors of the deportations of the Jews of Athens, Salonika and Janina had reached Corfu but many had dismissed it as hearsay.

Nata's underground activities enabled her two older sisters to flee, but she herself presented herself with her parents and her younger sister as ordered. The four family members were sent together to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they were separated. Eliahu, Esther and their eight year old daughter Rachel-Sarah were murdered, Nata was sent to a series of forced labor camps and survived.

Nata found a final memento of her sister - a Purim costume in the guise of a Greek freedom fighter – when she returned to Corfu after the war. She brought it with her when she immigrated to Israel and kept it for years. A photo of Rachel-Sarah dressed in the costume was also found and preserved as a precious memento.

Found in  the ruins of the Osmo family's house was also a Megillat Esther (Esther scroll) that had been in use by the family not long before they were sent to their deaths.

Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection,
Donated by Nata (Osmo) Gattegno, Tel Aviv, Israel