Alice Spruyt. Collection

Bijkomende meta info

This collection consists of : a Megillah Esther, the scroll containing the book of Esther which is read twice during the Purim fest and which was rescued by Marcel Bracke from a Jewish home near the Antwerp city park in 1942 ; a copy of Marcel Bracke’s post-war forced labourer recognition card.
Content Date
Content Location
Marcel and Alice Bracke-Spruyt
Hebrew, Dutch, French
Hebrew, Latin
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
The scroll is in excellent condition. The first piece of parchment is bound in purple linen to serve as a cover for the object.
Level of description
Extent and medium
3 digitised images (1 object and 1 document)
Administrative and biographical
Marcel Bracke was born in Antwerp on 9 October 1919. In May 1940 he fought as a soldier in the Belgian army during the invasion of the country by Nazi-Germany. After the general demobilization, Marcel Bracke returned to live with his parents and younger brother at Verlatstraat 43 in Antwerp. To avoid deportation to Germany as a forced labourer, he took a job with the city of Antwerp. As an electrician the city sent Marcel to houses and apartments formerly occupied by Jewish inhabitants to work on the infrastructure there. Although employed, Marcel Bracke was still sent to Germany as a forced labourer on 28 January 1943. He was repatriated to Belgium on 11 May 1945 and in 1952 he married Alice Spruyt. She herself lived in Antwerp during the war and had vivid memories of the roundups of Jews at Provinciestraat when taking the tram from her house at Vlaamse Kaai to a friend at the Cogels-Osylei. The couple built a family and in 1955 Marcel was recognized as a forced labourer. Marcel passed away in 2007.
In the summer or autumn of 1942, Marcel Bracke, electrician for the city of Antwerp, was working in a building adjacent to the city park (possibly at Rubenslei or Van Eycklei), when he noticed an object among the rubble on the ground, which he thought to be a Thora scroll. The scroll had presumably belonged to Jewish inhabitants of the house who had left it behind when they were arrested or went into hiding. Marcel Bracke rescued the scroll and took it with him to his parents’ house at Verlatstraat in Antwerp. Marcel and later on his wife Alice Spruyt kept the scroll safe for decades. After Marcel’s passing, Alice kindly donated the original object to Kazerne Dossin in 2019.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Alice Spruyt, widow of Marcel Bracke, 2019
  • Persoon
  • Object hiërarchie: 1 items