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Carved inscribed walking stick given to an American soldier

Object | Accession Number: 1996.A.0251.2

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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Cane carved for Lt. Joe Friedman, United States Army, as a gift by Major Macleah. It had formerly belonged to a German soldier. Friedman deployed to Europe in 1944. He was attached to the Third Army and became a member of the 91st Evacuation Hospital. In early April 1945, Joe's company was the first to enter Ohrdruf concentration camp, the first camp discovered by US troops. Before the war ended on May 7, Joe volunteered for work in displaced persons camps, eventually becoming the head of Coburg DP camp. He was promoted to Captain and later sent to Ansbach where he was commissioned to oversee all DP camps and German repatriation in American-occupied Bavaria. Joe also worked with the Jewish underground, smuggling Eastern European Jews out of the Russian zone. In early 1946, Joe's activities with the underground were uncovered and he had to return to the US.
    Date
    received:  1945 May 05
    Geography
    received: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joe Friedman
    Contributor
    Subject: Joe Friedman
    Biography
    Joe Friedman (1920- ) was born in St. Joseph, MO. He joined the Army in 1942, was assigned to the Medical Administrative Corps, and landed at Le Havre in December 1944. His unit fought in the Battle of Bastogne and participated in the liberation Ohrdruf. After the German capitulation, Friedman volunteered to remain in Europe to work with displaced persons. He received training at Bamberg, spent two weeks at Wildflecken, and then was sent to Coburg where he witnessed the Soviet forced repatriation of eastern European displaced persons through Lichtenfels. He was then sent to Ansbach and put in charge of several DP camps and the exchange point at Hof. He worked discreetly with the Jewish underground to bring eastern European Jews into the American zone until he was caught and sent home. He worked first as a podiatrist before changing careers, becoming an actor, and adopting Joel Frederick as his stage name.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Materials
    overall : wood
    Inscription
    carved : Koezing 5 Mai 11 Pz. Div. 1945

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The collection was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1996 by Joe Friedman.
    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:
    2023-08-23 11:21:21
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn33859

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