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Unused red triangle concentration camp patch with an E found by a US military aid worker

Object | Accession Number: 1989.295.2

Unused, red inverted triangle badge with the letter E found by Lt. Milton Shurr, a Jewish American soldier, in April-May 1945 at the recently liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. The red cloth was to identify the inmate as a political prisoner. The letter indicated camp status or nationality. E was used for intellectuals or influential inmates sent to be reformed or re-educated. The patch would be attached on the left breast of the jacket or on the pants leg. First Lt. Shurr assisted in the planning for D-Day, June 6, 1944, and joined the Civil Affairs Unit. He landed on Omaha Beach soon after the invasion to organize medical supplies. 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, improving camp conditions, and caring for the inmates. Shurr worked 16 hour days trying to find enough food for the 15,000 starving survivors at the camp. 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 May
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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