How a teddy bear helped little Michael
to survive concentration camps.

In 1942, four-year-old Michael Floersheim and his mother, both of Jewish heritage, were deported to a concentration camp. He was allowed to bring only one toy – his teddy bear Arosali. Even after being deported to

another concentration camp, by just holding tightly to his little friend Michael was given the hope and power to survive. Luckily, he grew up to become a successful businessman and raise his own family.

This is how it works:

„The teddy bear was his only friend...“

Dr. Yonat Floersheim

Widow of Michael Floersheim

The whole story of Arosali, the bear of hope.

Michael’s & Arosali’s story shows how powerful a single toy can be. A simple teddy bear can become a friend, a comforter and even a lifesaver. Click on the chapters to read the full story.

In 1942, Michael and his mum were deported to the transit camp Westerbork before they became prisoners in the concentration camp Bergen Belsen.

The exact number of people killed there is unknown, but is estimated at 50,000 or more. Anne Frank was one of the victims.

Luckily, Michael and his mother survived even the second concentration camp. After World War II, he grew up and married Dr. Yonat Floersheim and started a family. He became a successful businessman and ran a bank.

Even as banker, his teddy bear was always at his side – no journey was made without his beloved Arosali. And every time he had a suit or a coat sewn for his wife, the teddy bear received a new set of clothes too.

Extracts of Michael’s life

The lost childhood in concentration camps.

The Nazis advocated killing children from “unwanted” or “dangerous” groups as part of their “racial struggle” or as a measure of preventative security. The Germans and their collaborators killed more than one million children for these ideological reasons and in retaliation for real or alleged partisan attacks.

Helga and her parents were interned in the Terezin ghetto. It is estimated that 15,000 children went into Terezin. In October 1944, when she was 15 years old, she and her mother were deported to Auschwitz. Less than 100 of the Terezin children deported to Auschwitz

survived, like Helga. Luckily her mother also survived. Unfortunately her father’s fate is unknown. The last time she saw him was in Terezin in 1944, when he left with 5,000 others, destination unknown. He said to her: “Draw what you see!” – and she did.

A childhood in concentration camps is not the only similarity between Michael and Anne Frank. They even were deported to the same concentration camp: Bergen-Belsen.

Before being deported, she was in hiding for two years with her family. They were apprehended in 1944, and Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

A toy from the past, turned into hope of tomorrow.

Just like Arosali gave consolation to Michael, we want the teddy bear to give kids hope. That’s why we donate all profits directly to Kinderträume e.V.

* Excluding the production costs, the profit is 5 Euros. This amount is entirely donated to Kinderträume e.V. Neither Spielzeux nor others profit.

„...but one toy can deliver so much power.“

Anne Doré

Psychologist

Along the lines of Arosali from 1942.

The original Arosali has found its place in a museum. With an attention for detail we reproduced the new Arosali.

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Spielzeux stands for original, creative and innovative toys.
Visit us at spielzeux.de or instore: Oppenheimer Landstr. 40, 60596 Frankfurt

Arosali becomes a true companion again

Give hope with Arosali

Arosali helped Michael Floersheim through his darkest hours. With the purchase of Arosali, you can give kids some hope too. The entire profit is donated directly to Kinderträume e.V..


The charity organization helps kids through hard times by fulfilling their wishes. Only with the donations of members, associates and with volontary services of helpers and sponsors, can they fulfill every wish. Now you can help too.

* Excluding the production costs, the profit is 5 Euros. This amount is entirely donated to Kinderträume e.V. Neither Spielzeux nor others profit.

Pyjamas:

Like the original Arosali, the replica wears pyjamas: 100% Cotton with a special washing to get the same used look.


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Eyes:

Arosali looks through glass eyes, like every teddy bear did in the first half the 20th century.


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Outer material:

Mohair was the common material for teddy bears in 1942. This sort of fur was used for the replicas, too. Single hairs were pulled out by hand to convey years of cuddling like the original bear.


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Nose:

Hand embroidered bear-nose.


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