MARS 2015

Artifact of the month for March 2015

Prayer book 
Aksel Scheer (1904 -1964)

Aksel Scheer was born in Libau, Lithuania in 1904, as one out of seven children to Marcus Scheer (b.1858 in Pikelen, Lithuania) and Olga Golde (b.1862 in Samelan, Lithuania). Aksel’s oldest sister, Esther (b.1886 in Lithuania) had come to Norway in 1902. The following year came their sister Marie (b.1888 in Lithuania), then the rest of the family in1905. They settled down in Grünerløkka in Oslo, where their father Marcus ran a trading agency. The Scheer-family was very musical and Aksel learned early on to play the violin. He established his own orchestra and played on many of the finer restaurants in Oslo. At the end of the 1930’s he was engaged as a violinist in the National Theater’s orchestra, but got laid off in 1941 because he was Jewish.

In 1928 Aksel married Charlotte Selikowiz (b. 1906 in Oslo). Their son, Frank Markus was born the following year. They managed to escape to Sweden in 1942 and lived there throughout the war. Aksel’s mother Golde, his two sisters Fanny (b.1901 in Lithuania) and Esther, along with Esther’s husband Isak Jelawitz and their five children were all deported and killed in Auschwitz. 

The Prayer book is written in Hebrew, with comments in Yiddish. On the first page is written: Entrusted to Fanny from Aksel. The 3rd of September 1920. Farther down the page is added: Oslo, 1945. Returned after beeing hidden away from the Nazis. Aksel Scheer. 
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