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Catholic military missal carried by a US Army medic and slave labor camp POW

Publication | Accession Number: 2010.440.4

Catholic prayer book used by 20-year-old Anthony Acevedo when he was a US Army medic and a German prisoner of war in the Berga an der Elster slave labor camp from December 1944 to April 1945. Tony was a Mexican-American who enlisted in the US Army in 1943. He served as 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 Germany, where Tony was tortured during interrogation. In February, he was transferred along with 350 fellow soldiers, either Jewish or considered undesirables, to Berga, a subcamp of Buchenwald concentration camp. Berga was a slave labor camp where prisoners toiled in underground tunnels and mines. Tony worked at the camp as a medic, and he was able to hide a diary and record the names and deaths of the many who died there. He did this out of duty and to honor to his fellow soldiers. 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 discharged, 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 American soldiers had been imprisoned in a German slave labor camp.

Alternate Title
My Military Missal
Date
publication/distribution:  1942
use:  1943-1945 June
Geography
publication: Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
use: Marseille (France)
use: Stalag IX B.; Bad Orb (Germany)
use: Berga (Concentration camp); Berga (Thuringia, Germany)
Language
English
Latin
Object Type
Missals (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Religious books.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Anthony Acevedo
 
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:41:02
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn42603