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Unused green triangle concentration camp patch with an S found by a US military aid worker

Object | Accession Number: 1989.295.10

Green inverted triangle badge with a black letter S found by Lt. Milton Shurr, a Jewish American soldier, in April-May 1945 at the recently liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. The green cloth would identify a convicted criminal. The letter would signify camp status or nationality. S is likely for Sicherungsverwahrte [Preventive Custody), a term often used by the SS to hold indefinitely a person who had completed their prison sentence, but whom the SS considered socially undesirable and not fit to be released into German society. It was often used to keep homosexuals from being released from prison, but it was flexible and could be applied any person charged with an offense. The triangle would be attached on the left breast of the jacket or on the pants leg. Shurr assisted in planning for D-Day, June 6, 1944, and joined the Civil Affairs Unit. He landed on Omaha Beach soon after the invasion. He was placed with the 1st Army Displaced Persons Team. On April 11, 1945, the US Third Army liberated Buchenwald. Command of the camp was transferred to the 1st Army, which was responsible for establishing order and caring for the inmates. Shurr worked 16 hour days trying to find enough food for 15,000 starving survivors. He was a liaison with the Red Cross and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. He later was sent to Bavaria as a health welfare officer to assist with the re-establishment of schools, hospitals, and other social services by the US Military occupation government.

found:  1945 April-1945 June
found: Buchenwald (Concentration camp); Weimar (Thuringia, Germany)
Identifying Artifacts
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Milton L. Shurr
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:21:10
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