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Baked fillet of Boston sole. Roast young Vermont turkey with giblet gravy. Buttered peas.

1949 Thanksgiving menu on the USAT Gen. McRae
Typed Thanksgiving menu, 11/24/49. Gift of Henry Musat. 35.92.

These were among the Thanksgiving dishes Heinz Muscatblatt (who later changed his name to Henry Musat) had to choose from aboard the USAT General J.H. McRae, taking him to New York from Germany in 1949. The United States Army ship left Bremerhaven, Germany, on October 27, 1949 to New York. Almost a month later, arriving in New York harbor, he remembers having to stay on board because everything was closed for Thanksgiving.

Front and back menu cover from Thanksgiving 1949 aboard the USAT Gen. McRae
Front (right) and back (left) of the USAT Gen. McRae 1949 Thanksgiving menu. Gift of Henry Musat. 35.92.

The folded mimeographed menu in the Museum’s Permanent Collection includes the cover and back:  a cartoon design of a pilgrim boy with banner, “Happy Thanksgiving Day,” the name of the ship “U.S.A.T. General J.H. McRae,” and the signature of the ship’s Master. The back shows a ship’s wheel design. 

Heinz Muscatblatt was born on February 18, 1942 in Leipzig, Germany. He was deported by the Nazis in 1942. Heinz was first sent to Terezin, then later to Auschwitz, and finally to Friedland where he was liberated 1945. After liberation he worked in Wiesbaden for Juedische Gemeinde, then came to the United States in 1949. His father, mother, and sister were deported and all died in Auschwitz.