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Engraved wooden box presented to a Waffen SS general by his troops
|Brief Narrative||Carved commemorative box that was given to SS Obergruppenfuhrer und General Der Polizei Friedrich Wilhelm Kruger in 1944 by his troops when he commanded the 5th Mountain Corps in German occupied Yugoslavia. It held Waffen SS labeled military photographs of the region. From 1939-1943, Kruger was the Higher SS and Police Leader for the Generalgouvernement in Poland, where he carried out Himmler’s killing operations for Jews in the region. In 1943, he was replaced due to a power struggle with Hans Frank, Governor General of Poland during the German occupation. He requested and was given the command of divisions in the field until the end of the war when he committed suicide on May 9, 1945 in Liepaja, Latvia. The box was acquired by Henry Birnbaum, a US soldier stationed in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1945-1946 where he served as a translator for the International Military Tribunal.|
|Provenance||The box was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Irwin Birnbaum and Phillip Birnbaum.|
|Legal Status||Permanent Collection|
Wooden boxes (lcsh)
|Dimensions||overall : 8.750 x 12.380 x 8.880 in. (22.225 x 31.445 x 22.555 cm.)|
exterior lid on left, carved : (SS double lightning bolt insignia) / GENERAL- / KOMMANDO / (oversized) V [(SS insignia) / GENERAL- / COMMAND / 5]
exterior lid on right, beneath carved flower, carved : (SS double lightning bolt insignia) SS-GEBIRGS- / KORPS [(SS insignia)-MOUNTAIN- / CORPS]
interior lid, etched : (SS double lightning bolt insignia) – OBERGRUPPENFŰHRER / UND GENERAL DER POLIZEI / (oversized) Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger / ZUR ERINNERUNG AN DAS V. (SS double lightning bolt insignia) / GEB. KORPS / UND ZUR BETRACHTUNG IN BESINNLICHEN STUNDEN [TOP COMMANDER AND GENERAL OF THE POLICE Friedrich Wilhelm Kruger TO REMEMBER THE 5TH MT. CORPS AND FOR STUDY AND CONTEMPLATION]
interior lid, etched beneath inscription : ABT. VI [DEPT.(?) 6]
|Materials||overall : wood, stain, metal, string|
Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei. Schutzstaffel.
World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Eastern Front.
World War, 1939-1945--Germany.
|Conditions on Access||No restrictions on access|
|Conditions on Use||No restrictions on use|
Friedrich Wilhelm Kruger
|Credit Line||United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Irwin Birnbaum and Phillip Birnbaum|
|Physical Description||Rectangular, dark brown, wooden box with attached lid. The exterior lid has a carved relief design with a slightly pebbled background featuring German text in 2 outlined rectangles on the left and right; the right also has a carved edelweiss flower, the symbol of German mountain troops. The lid and the body have carved, outlined, rectangular border designs with the SS double lightning bolt insignia at each corner. The center front underside of the lid has a triangular metal latch that fits into a slot on the base. The lid is attached by 2 metal, rear butt hinges. On the left front is a round key hole. The interior of the lid has an etched German inscription of 5 lines. The inside compartment has a wooden partition. Each compartment has a circular, wooden seal carved with the SS lightning bolt insignia attached to a loop of blue string nailed in 2 places to the base to hold any contents in place.|
|Link to Collection||
Friedrich Wilhelm Kruger collection
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|Record last modified: 2014-02-12 11:12:13|