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World War I Iron Cross medal with striped ribbon awarded to a German Jewish refugee

Date 1914-1918  (commemoration)
1938 May 14  (emigration)
Accession Number 2009.365.2 a-b
Geography issue : Germany
Brief Narrative Iron Cross awarded to Max Wachtel for service in the German Army during World War I, 1914-1918. After four years of increasingly antisemitic Nazi rule, Max’s shoe factory in Erfurt, Germany, was confiscated in 1937 because he was Jewish. Max was able to get immigration visas for the United States, with the sponsorship of relatives in Ohio. On May 14, 1938, Max, his wife Erna, and children, Ursula and Hans, sailed from Hamburg to the US on the President Roosevelt. They arrived on May 21 and settled in Cincinnati.
Provenance The Iron Cross medal was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2009 by Andrea Wolf and Thomas Wolf, the grandchildren of Max Wachtel.
Classification Military Insignia
Category Medals
Object Type Medals, German (lcsh)
Dimensions a : 2.375 x 1.750 in. (6.032 x 4.445 cm.)
b : 11.375 x 1.250 in. (28.893 x 3.175 cm.)
Markings a. obverse, top, embossed : FW
a. obverse, bottom, embossed : 1813
a. reverse, center, embossed : W
a. reverse, bottom, embossed : 1914
Materials a : metal
b : cloth
Geographic Name Germany--Emigration and immigration--Biography.
United States--Emigration and immigration--Biography.
Topical Term Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Germany--Personal narratives.
Jewish refugees--United States--Biography.
Jews--Persecutions--Germany--Biography.
World War, 1939-1945--Refugees--United States--Personal narratives.
Conditions on Access No restrictions on access
Conditions on Use No restrictions on use
Contributor Subject : Max Wachtel
Credit Line United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Andrea K. Wolf and Thomas M. Wolf
Record Type Object
Physical Description a. Blackened iron medal in the form of a cross pattee with concave arms with a silver colored, reeded line border. The front has an embossed vertical design: at the top of the central arm is a crown, then are the letters FW, then 3 bound oak leaves and 2 acorns, and at the bottom, the date 1813. On the reverse descending from the top of the central arm is a crown; in the center a W, and at the bottom, the date 1914. A suspension ring is attached at the top.
b. Cloth ribbon with the following stripes: black, white, red, white, black, threaded through a ring attached to the crown at the top of the medal (a).
Link to Collection Max Wachtel and Herbert Wolf family collection
2009.365
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  Record last modified: 2014-07-30 16:22:32
 
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