This blanket was owned by the Rosenberg family from the late 1950s onwards. It was the donor Denise’s blanket. Born May 1958, her late mother Elfie kept it safe for many decades after Denise had outgrown it. Elfie returned the blanket to Denise 20 years ago, in its current near new condition. Jacques Rosenberg and Elfie née Naparstek, Denise’s parents, met in Melbourne in the Summer of 1950. They both survived being young and Jewish in Europe during the Second World War. Jacques grew up in France and Elfie in Germany, she was a child of the Kindertransport. They married in 1952 and by 1958 had a son and two daughters. Denise, the youngest daughter, donated the blanket on behalf of the Rosenberg family to the National Wool Museum in 2021.
The Kindertransport was a program designed to facilitate the immigration of Jewish children from Nazi Germany before the outbreak of the Second World War. The United Kingdom took in nearly 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. The children were placed in British foster homes, hostels, schools and farms. Tragically, these children were often the only members of their families to survive the tragedies that were to unfold in Europe.
Fortunately, Elfie’s parents did survive World War Two by sneaking out of Germany and into the south of France. After Elfie and her sister Serry were Kindertransported, they met up with Salma and Risla Naparstek in Paris in 1947 before migrating to Australia.
This blanket originates from the Eagley Mill. They manufactured woollen, worsted and knitwear products from their mill located in Collingwood. Part of Foy & Gibson, the mill had frontages measuring almost two miles within the area bounded by Little Oxford, Wellington, Stanley and Peel Streets in Collingwood. This was the largest manufacturing plant for wool in the Southern Hemisphere at the time. It was also one of the oldest. The first machines for knitting men’s socks were installed in 1896. The site ultimately went into receivership while under new ownership in 1968 and is now high-end real estate. More information about the Mill can be read via Unimelb digitised collection. https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/bitstream/handle/11343/21262/269411_UDS2010852-85.pdf?sequence=18&isAllowed=y
38”x45” (965 x 1145mm) cream wool blanket. The blanket has white stitching around its edge. Embroidered in the centre of the blanket is a koala eating leaves with accompanying flowers on either side of the marsupial. In the bottom right corner of the blanket a small square label from the Eagley Mills is stitched. This label includes the images of a Sphinx head, a pyramid and a baby’s crib.
Inscriptions & markings
AWARDED THE CERTIFICATE OF /
THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF /
PUBLIC HEALTH & HYGIENE LONDON