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Bronze Star medal with ribbon presented to a Jewish US soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2011.447.11.5

Bronze Star Medal awarded to Sidney Cooley for heroic, meritorious achievement as a US Army officer in Europe from January 1945 to September 1946. On January 1, 1945, Sidney’s Division was deployed to Marseilles, France, and quickly advanced north into Germany. The 63rd Infantry crossed the Siegfried Line and fought through central Germany, arriving in Landsberg am Lech by April. Sidney was promoted and assigned to General Louis Hibb’s staff. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. Sidney was promoted to Captain, assigned to the Third Army, and placed on occupational duty in the American zone. He was selected to serve as the deputy military governor in Bayreuth. He assisted with regional rebuilding efforts and with the de-Nazification program. Sidney, a lawyer by training, served as prosecutor for the U.S. military government in Bayreuth, as well as a judge, hearing approximately 1,800 cases involving civilian violations of military government. As a Yiddish speaking, Jewish American official, Sidney’s presence in Bayreuth attracted many displaced Holocaust survivors looking for a place to settle while waiting to emigrate. Among his efforts to help the community, was the establishment of an agrarian training program to train more than 300 hopeful Palestinian settlers and prepare them for life as farmers. Sidney worked very closely with the Jewish community and when he left Bayreuth, they thanked him with an eloquent citation.

commemoration:  1945 January-1945 May
Military Insignia
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Hatikvah Holocaust Education Center
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:25:51
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