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US Army officer's summer weight tunic worn by the director of the Vaad Hatzala Emergency Committee in postwar Germany

Object | Accession Number: 2008.180.10 | RG Number: RG-

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    US Army officer's summer weight tunic worn by the director of the Vaad Hatzala Emergency Committee in postwar Germany

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    Brief Narrative
    United States Army uniform jacket worn by Rabbi Nathan Baruch when he was the director of the Vaad Hatzala Rescue Organization in Germany from September 1946 - September 1949. It has its officer's buttons but no rank insignia. Vaad Hatzala was originally established to rescue Polish rabbis and yeshiva students who escaped to Lithuania at the start of World War II in 1939. It expanded to include assistance to all Jews. Rabbi Baruch was responsible for the reestablishment of Jewish religious life in post war Europe. He supervised the creation and distribution of religious texts and items to displaced persons camps as well as to Jewish communities worldwide. Rabbi Baruch, working closely with the United States Army, was largely responsible for the printing of the 19 volume Heidelberg Talmud in 1949.
    use:  1946-1949
    use: Vaad Hatzala office; Munich (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Doris Baruch
    interior, front, right, on label, printed : Rogers Peet / Company / Makers of Fine Clothes / New York ~ Boston
    Subject: Nathan Baruch
    Subject: Vaad Hatzala
    Rabbi Nathan Baruch was born on June 7, 1921. He was the director of Vaad Hatzala in Germany from September 1946 to September 1949. The Vaad Hatzala Rescue Committee was originally established in November 1939 to rescue Polish rabbis and yeshiva students who escaped to Lithuania at the beginning of World War II. It later expanded to include assistance to all Jewish Holocaust survivors. Rabbi Baruch established the central Vaad Hatzala office in Germany and was responsible for reestablishing Jewish religious life in Europe. His duties included the printing and distribution of religious items, including prayer books, haggadahs, Torahs, pocket sized editions of the Talmud, and other sefarim. Rabbi Baruch was instrumental in getting the United States Army to print, in 1948, the 19 volume Heidelberg Talmud. The texts were distributed to displaced persons camps and Jewish communities worldwide. He married, had a daughter, and died in Long Beach, New York, on November 28, 2001, at the age of 81.
    Vaad Hatsala was established in November 1939, by the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada. Its mission was to rescue Polish rabbis and yeshiva students who fled to Lithuania at the onset of World War II. Vaad made it possible for numerous rabbis and Torah scholars to emigrate from Lithuania to the Far East prior to the German invasion in June 1941. After the United States entered the war, Vaad Hatsala focused on providing funds, food and clothing to refugees so that they could adhere to their Orthodox lifestyle and continue their studies. In January, 1944, the organization officially changed their mission to include all Jews, regardless of religiosity or affiliation, and focused on those living in areas that had been occupied by Germans. Vaad Hatsala had branches in Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, and Tangier. Through these branches they initiated various successful rescue projects, most notably the release of 1,210 inmates from the concentration camp Theresienstadt to Switzerland on February 6-7, 1945. The organization ceased operations in the early 1950s.

    Physical Details

    Clothing and Dress
    Object Type
    Jackets (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Light brown, cloth jacket with collar and epaulets. Each lapel has a gold-colored metal U.S. pin with 2 clutch backs. The epaulets have 1 gold-colored metal button embossed with the Great Seal of the United States, and there are 4 embossed, gold buttons down the right side. The breast pockets have gold-colored buttons and 2 plastic flap snaps; the lower ones have gold-colored buttons and plastic buttons with loop closures. There is light brown trim sewn on the cuffs, and the back is vented. A manufacturer’s label is sewn onto the partially lined interior.
    overall: Height: 31.250 inches (79.375 cm) | Width: 19.750 inches (50.165 cm)
    overall : cloth, metal, thread, plastic

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The jacket was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2008 by Doris Baruch, the widow of Nathan Baruch.
    Record last modified:
    2022-11-28 14:56:16
    This page:

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