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Honor Cross of the World War 1914/1918 combatant veteran service medal awarded to a German Jewish soldier

Object | Accession Number: 1988.156.1.3

Honor Cross, combatants medal awarded to Kurt Schlesinger for his service in the German Army during World War I (1914-1918). The Honor, or Hindenburg, Cross was established by President von Hindenburg in July 1934. It commemorated distinguished deeds in combat, and individuals had to apply to the government to receive it. On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany. Kurt and his second wife, Christine, were very concerned about Hitler’s policies, and immigrated to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Kurt left behind his teenage daughter, Irene, who lived in Berlin with her mother, Erna Schlesinger. Kurt and Erna had divorced in 1924, and he only saw Irene during holidays. In July 1938, Kurt signed a document granting permission for Irene, a minor, to emigrate because the situation for Jews in Germany had become more dangerous. In July 1939, Irene and Erna arrived in Amsterdam to say goodbye to him before boarding a ship to the United States. Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. In the second half of 1942, Kurt was transported to Westerbork transit camp and held there. After approximately one year, Christine, who was not Jewish, was able to get Kurt out the camp before he could be deported to a concentration camp. In February 1946, Kurt was killed instantly when he was thrown from the bed of a truck during an accident.

Date
commemoration:  1914-1918
issue:  1934 July 13-1944
Geography
issue: Germany
Classification
Military Insignia
Category
Medals
Object Type
Medals, German (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Irene S. Woods
 
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:26:08
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn373