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Service recognition card for British commemorative medals and ribbons issued to an Austrian Jewish woman in the British Auxiliary

Object | Accession Number: 2009.294.6

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    Service recognition card for British commemorative medals and ribbons issued to an Austrian Jewish woman in the British Auxiliary


    Brief Narrative
    Entitlement card for medals awarded to Lilly Feldmann by the British government for her military service during World War II in Africa and Palestine. In late 1938, 18 year-old Lilly felt forced to leave Vienna, Austria, because of anti-semitism and Nazi fervor. In her diary, her heartbreak is clear: “It is a curse that I shall miss this home in spite of the fact that it hates and rejects me…I shall cry for you, you stupid, pitiful country.” She escaped to England where she joined the British Army and served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service Division.
    commemoration:  1939-1945
    issue: Great Britain
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Dorit B. Whiteman, Ph.D.
    front center, black ink : The Under-Secretary of State for / War presents his compliments and / by Command of the Army Council / has the honour to transmit the / enclosed Awards granted for / service during the war of / 1939-45•
    back top, title, black ink : Campaign Stars, Clasps and Medals / instituted in recognition of service / in the war of 1939-45.
    back, below title, within red box in red ink : NUMBER OF STARS, MEDALS, / CLASPS or EMBLEMS ENCLOSED
    front body, headings within chart, black ink : Order of Wearing, Description of Ribbon, and Clasp or Emblem / (if awarded).
    Subject: Lilly Feldmann
    Lilly Feldmann was born in Vienna, Austria, on June 23, 1920. In 1938, hating and fearing the unrelenting growth of violent persecutions of Jews and Nazism, Lilly escaped to England. In a final diary entry on November 14, 1938, 18 year-old Lilly wrote a farewell to her childhood and her beloved city:

    “I am going to leave Vienna shortly. The Vienna I love and will always love although now it rejects me and makes clear to me that it is no longer my hometown. It is a curse that I shall miss this home in spite of the fact that it hates and rejects me. Yes, I want to leave you but only because you no longer want me, Vienna, you poor Vienna, because you don’t know what you are doing. And I see you disintegrate, very clearly, because you want it yourself. I am leaving, it has to be that way, I guess; but I shall cry for you, you stupid, pitiful country. You have allowed yourself to be led around by your nose and now there is no return. I would feel better if I could hate you like all these others, but unfortunately, I cannot - . I now finish this notebook…a reflection of a beautiful and unburdened era.” (translator, unknown USHMM staff)

    Soon after arriving in England, Lilly joined the British Armed Services. During World War II, she was promoted to sergeant and was stationed in Palestine and Africa as a member of the Auxiliary Transport Unit. On September 15, 1943, she received citizenship orders for a certification of naturalization in the British Protectorate of Palestine. After the war, she asked the Red Cross for help in locating her mother, born September 15, 1898, whom she had left behind in Vienna. They told her that she had been transported to the Łódź ghetto, then to Auschwitz death camp where she was murdered. On December 30, 1963, the Austrian government issued Lilly a check for $348.64 as compensation for her mother’s death. Lilly never cashed the check. Lilly lived in Israel for 14 years, and then joined her cousins, Charles and Lillian Deutsch, in New York City, NY. Lilly died of cancer in 1964, aged 44, and was buried in Denver, Colorado.

    Physical Details

    Information Forms
    Object Type
    Testimonials (aat)
    Physical Description
    Rectangular offwhite paper card. On the front is an image in red ink of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, a lion and unicorn flanking a crowned shield; below this are 7 lines of English text printed in black ink, with handwritten text in blue ink on the lower edge. On the reverse is a printed design: at the top is a descriptive title in English text in black ink; below this a rectangular box with English text in red ink; next is a chart with 3 columns and eleven lines with English text in black ink and vertical dividing lines in red ink. There is handwritten text in blue ink within chart.
    overall: Height: 5.500 inches (13.97 cm) | Width: 4.000 inches (10.16 cm)
    overall : paper, ink
    front bottom, handwritten, blue ink : WP/203841 SAT. Feldmann L.
    on back, handwritten, blue ink : 3

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The medal entitlement card was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2009 by Dr. Dorit B. Whiteman, who received the medal from Gertrude and Charles Deutsch, Lilly Feldmann's cousins.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:26:23
    This page:

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