"Refugee" Teddy Bear
After World War II ended, eight-year-old Selma Scharzwald received a stuffed bear from her mother. She named it “Refugee,” because its uneven eyes made it look " a little down and out." She and her mother had survived the Holocaust in Poland by posing as Catholics. Then Selma herself became a refugee when they immigrated to England to escape anti-Jewish riots.
After Selma, now known as Sophie Turner-Zaretsky, became a successful doctor, she donated "Refugee" to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In December 2006, a replica of Refugee was taken on a mission of the space shuttle Discovery by Commander Mark Polansky.
Each plush replica of Selma’s teddy bear comes with Refugee’s full story.
Learn more about hidden children during the Holocaust.