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US Army American Campaign Medal and ribbon bar with presentation box awarded to a Czech Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2009.364.2 a-c

Bronze medal with ribbon, ribbon bar, and presentation box issued to Tom (Tibor) Kovary for service in the United States Army from 1943-1946. On September 2, 1939, 19 year old Tibor Kovari and his 20 year old brother, Erno, were attacked on the street for being Jewish by Nazi sympathizers in their hometown, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. They fought back, put their attackers in the hospital, and were arrested, along with their father, Olivio. The incident received such widespread publicity that the authorities advised them to flee for fear of retaliation. They illegally crossed the border into Hungary, where they obtained visas for the US, arriving in New York on February 29, 1940. Both brothers joined the US Army: Tom was in Military Intelligence stateside; Ernest in combat, landing with the infantry on D-Day. He searched for surviving relatives, but found only one cousin, a survivor of Auschwitz death camp.

commemoration:  1941-1945
emigration:  1940 February
issue: United States
Military Insignia
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Myra Kovary and Vally Kovary.
Record last modified: 2020-09-15 08:45:20
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