Burial Shrouds

These burial garments were made by a bride for her husband and herself after a local tradition

Melanie Cahen Levy

The maker of these garments, Melanie Cahen Levy, was born in Luxembourg in 1884. In 1911 she married Daniel Levy, a baker from the nearby town of Bollendorf, Germany. A local Jewish custom was for a newly married woman to create burial suits for her husband and herself. Melanie sewed and embroidered these garments and carried them with her when the couple fled Germany after the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 1938. During the war the couple hid in France and eventually escaped to Switzerland. After the war they settled in Nice, where they later died and were buried according to the local custom, and the funeral garments were not used.

Name: Burial Shrouds
Artist: Melanie Cahen Levy
Origin: Germany, Early 20th Century
Medium: Textile
Credit: Gift of Suzanne Tarica
Catalog Number: 2000.35 and 2000.36
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Daniel Stauben ([Malibu, Calif.] : Joseph Simon/Pangloss Press, c1991)

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Vicki Caron (Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1988)