As they gained strength some recovering women made dolls out of scraps of cloth they had been given. Six of these dolls made by Polish women/girls were gifted to Red Cross nurses.
Those dolls have been part of the Jackie Wyartt Collection, a Birmingham collector who has amassed over 500 antique dolls in 70 years.
One of the nurses had taken them to Wyartt’s grandmother in 1953, who ran Birmingham Dolls’ Hospital. Wyarrt inherited her grandmother’s doll collection.
The Bergen-Belsen dolls have now been consigned to Newbury saleroom Special Auction Services and will be estimated at £1000-1500 in the Teddy Bear, Doll, Dolls’ House and Traditional Toy auction on June 21-22.
These dolls have rarely been seen in public. For a short while they were toured around England by the Women’s Institute (c.1956-60) and Wyartt also showed them to Anne Frank’s father, Otto, in the late 1970s.