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Armband with red cross worn by US Army medic/ POW in a slave labor camp, signed post-liberation by fellow POWs

Object | Accession Number: 2010.440.3

Red Cross armband worn by 20 year old Anthony Acevedo when he was a medic and German prisoner of war in the Berga an der Elster slave labor camp from December 1944-April 1945. He asked other prisoners to sign it after they were liberated by US forces on April 23, 1945. Tony, a Catholic and Mexican American, enlisted in the US Army in 1943. He was a medic in Company B, 275th regiment, 70th Infantry Division. In January 1945, the company surrendered to the German Army during the Battle of the Bulge. They were sent to a prisoner of war camp, Stalag IX-B, in Bad Orb, Germany, where Tony was tortured during interrogation. In February, he was transferred, along with 350 fellow soldiers, either Jewish or undesirables, to Berga, a subcamp of Buchenwald. Berga was a slave labor camp where prisoners labored in underground tunnels and mines. Tony worked as a medic and was able to hide a diary where, out of duty and to honor to his fellow soldiers, he recorded the names and deaths of the many who died there. On April 3, as Allied forces neared, the prisoners were ordered on a death march. On April 23, they were liberated by the 11th Armored Division. Before being sent home, the roughly 160 survivors of Berga were forced by the US Army to sign an affidavit promising not to speak about their experiences in Berga. Tony was sent to California to recuperate and discharged in December 1945. In 2009, the US Army finally admitted that US soldiers had been imprisoned in a German slave labor camp.

Date
1945 February-1945 April  (use)
Geography
use : Berga (Concentration camp); Berga am Elster (Thuringia, Germany)
Language
English
Classification
Military Insignia
Category
Armbands
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Anthony Acevedo
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Record last modified: 2018-10-24 14:07:06
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn42602