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German State criminal police warrant disc acquired by a Jewish American soldier

Object | Accession Number: 1989.4.1

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    German State criminal police warrant disc acquired by a Jewish American soldier

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Staatliche Kriminalpolizei [State Criminal police] bronze warrant disc [dienstmarken], ID number 1978, taken by Walter Fried, a US Army interrogator, from a Gestapo officer in the SS criminal police division whom he was interrogating. After Himmler centralized the police forces in the mid-1930s, this was the official identification badge, stamped with the individual officer's number. The badge had the authority of a warrant and once displayed during an arrest, investigation, or search, it ensured compliance. Walter, 25, and his family, who were Jewish, fled Austria for America shortly after the annexation by Germany in March 1938. Walter entered the Army in November 1943 and deployed with the 243rd Combat Engineer Battalion. In April 1945, he was transferred to the Counterintelligence Corps to be a translator. After Germany surrendered on May 7, Walter was transferred to War Crimes Investigating Team, Judge Advocate Section, as a translator and interviewer of former concentration camp inmates, guards, and commandants, as well as German civilians. He was released from the Army in January 1946.
    Date
    found:  after 1945 April 26-before 1946 January 23
    Geography
    found: Regensburg (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Walter Fried
    Markings
    back, center, embossed : STAATLICHE / KRIMINALPOLIZEI [State Criminal Police]
    back, center, stamped : 1978
    Contributor
    Subject: Walter Fried
    Issuer: Reichskriminalpolizeiamt (RKPA)
    Biography
    Walter Fried was born on September 11, 1913, in Vienna, Austria, to a Jewish couple, Leopold and Margaret Adler Fried. Walter had a sister, Alice, born on March 5, 1917. Walter’s father Leopold was born on February 18, 1883, in Privigye, Hungary (now Prievidza, Slovakia), to David and Josefine Loewenbein Fried. Leopold had three siblings: Gisella, Adolph, and Ludwig. Walter’s mother Margaret was born on September 22, 1892, in Vienna, Austria, to Samuel and Josephine Adler. After graduating high school, Walter completed one year at university. The family spoke German and Walter learned English in school. He worked at an Austrian paper export company.

    On March 12, 1938, Nazi Germany annexed Austria. Walter and his family had their citizenship revoked because they were Jewish. They decided to emigrate to the United States. Walter’s paternal uncle Ludwig, now called Louis, had emigrated to New York in 1905 and sponsored the family’s emigration. Walter traveled to Southampton, England, and sailed on SS Ile De France on June 30, 1938, arriving in New York on July 6. Walter’s sister Alice left from Cannes, France, on the SS Rex, arriving in New York on August 17. She was accompanied by their cousins Egon and Hans, sons of their paternal uncle Adolph. Walter’s parents, Leopold and Margaret, emigrated from Genoa, Italy, on the SS Rex, arriving in New York on October 26. The family settled in New York City. Walter worked as a clerk in the credit department of the San-Nap-Pak Manufacturing Company. His father was a mechanic. In January 1939, Walter’s uncle Adolph and his wife Jolan arrived in New York. In January 1940, Walter’s paternal aunt Gisella Glogauer arrived in New York via Italy and moved in with them. Walter married Gladys Elaine Krausz (1917-1995), who was born in London, England.

    On December 8, 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States entered World War II. On November 24, 1943, Walter was drafted into the US Army. In December, he became a naturalized American citizen. Walter deployed to Europe with the 243rd Combat Engineer Battalion. As Allied forces closed in near the end of the war, the Germans evacuated many concentration camps and force marched the inmates to the interior of the country. Inmates who were sick or could not keep up were shot and left on the side of the road or sometimes quickly buried. Walter's Army unit discovered shallow graves along a road near Regensburg, Germany. The Army arranged the re-burial of the bodies in a makeshift cemetery at a road crossing near Regensburg. A ceremony was conducted by liberated concentration camp inmates and German officials. Walter, a technician 5th grade, photographed the ceremony. On April 26, 1945, Walter was transferred to the Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) Detachment #208, VIII Corps, as an interpreter. He screened civilian employees for the US military occupation government, interrogated suspects, interviewed informants, and prepared reports. On June 28, Walter was transferred to the War Crimes Investigating Team #6824, Judge Advocate Section, Headquarters, Third United States Army. He was stationed in Regensburg. He took statements from former concentration camp inmates, guards, and commanders. He also questioeed German civilians, some of whom told him about seeing US Air Force personnel who parachuted from disabled planes being killed by German civilians. Walter returned to the US in early 1946 and, on January 23, was discharged from the Army.

    Walter and Gladys had two children. Gladys’s parents and grandparents perished in the Holocaust. Walter’s father Leopold, 83, died in December 1966. Walter’s mother Margaret, 88, died in August 1981. Walter, 82, passed away on June 29, 1996, in Seal Beach, California.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Identifying Artifacts
    Category
    Badges
    Object Type
    Badges (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Heavy, worn, oval, die-struck bronze disc embossed on the front with a stylized eagle, facing right, with outstretched wings holding a wreath enclosing a mobile swastika. On the back is embossed German text and a stamped identification number. It has a raised edge, smooth rim, and a hole punched through the left side.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 1.500 inches (3.81 cm) | Width: 2.000 inches (5.08 cm) | Depth: 0.125 inches (0.318 cm)
    Materials
    overall : bronze

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1989 by Walter Fried.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-31 10:36:41
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn1270

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