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Star of David badge printed with Jude worn by a German Jew

Object | Accession Number: 2010.475.2

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    Star of David badge printed with Jude worn by a German Jew

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Star of David badge that belonged to Beate Ada or Ernest Oppenheimer. Beate and Ernest emigrated separately from Germany to the United States in 1938-1939. The badge was worn by a family member who stayed in Germany. In September 1941, the Nazi government ordered all Jews over the age of six to wear a Judenstern [Jewish star] badge on their outer clothing at all times. Official persecution of the Jews following Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 made life extremely difficult. Ernest, who lived in Mannheim, was arrested with his father during the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 9-10, 1938. They were sent to Buchenwald concentration camp and later released. Twenty-seven year old Ernest left for the United States in 1939. His parents, Moritz and Margaret, were killed in Auschwitz in 1942, but his three siblings survived the war. Beate was from Lauenforde and she left for the United States in 1938. Her parents, Emma and Sali, were deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp, but were released to Switzerland in exchange for American currency.
    Date
    use:  approximately 1942
    Geography
    use: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Carol Oppenheimer Wolinsky
    Markings
    front, center, black dye : Jude [Jew]
    Contributor
    Subject: Beate A. Oppenheimer
    Subject: Ernest Oppenheimer
    Biography
    Beate Ada Oppenheimer was born in January 17, 1909, in Lauenforde, Germany, to Sali and Emma Moses Oppenheimer. Emma was born March 31, 1879, in Betziesdorf and Sali was born in May 19, 1876, in Laufenselden. After Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in January 1933, Jews were subject to increasingly harsh persecution. Beate left for the United States in 1938. In 1941, she married Ernest Oppenheimer. Ernest was born on July 12, 1915, in Frankisch-Crumbach and escaped to the United States in 1939. In September 1942, Sali and Emma were deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. They were released in exchange for American currency and transported to Switzerland. Ernest passed away, age 59, on May 1, 1975, and Beate passed away, age 82, on April 1, 1991.
    Ernest Oppenheimer was born on July 12, 1915, in Frankisch-Crumbach, Germany, to Moritz and Margarete Kraemer Oppenheimer. Moritz was born on November 14, 1878, in Frankisch-Crumbach to Issak and Yohana Rorheimer Oppenheimer. Margarete was born in Mannheim on May 8, 1892, to Moritz and Feodora Pappenheim Kraemer. Ernest had two sisters and two brothers; Werner, Ruth, Feo, born ca. 1935, and Michael. The family settled in Mannheim and Margarete worked as a teacher at an orphanage. Werner emigrated to Argentina around 1930, and much later moved to the United States.

    As the Nazi dictatorship became established after 1933, life for Jews became dangerous. During the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 1938, Ernest and Moritz were arrested and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp. Ernest was released before his father because Moritz had to send a postcard to his family to pay for his fare home. Ernest escaped to the United States in 1939; the older sister, Ruth, was sent to England on a Kindertransport. In 1941, Ernest married Beate Oppenheimer. Beate was born in January 17, 1909, in Lauenforde, and left Germany for the United States in 1938.

    Moritz, with the assistance of Ernest and Werner, tried to get immigration visas but they were denied. In October 1940, Moritz, Margarete, Michael, and Feo were deported to Gurs internment camp in France and later to Rivesaltes detention camp. Margarete taught and cared for children in Gurs and she worked as a housekeeper in Marseilles. They were able to correspond with family members and Ernest and Werner sent them money orders. In early 1941, Michael and Feo were rescued from the camp, probably by OSE (Ouevre Secours aux Enfants / Aid to Children), an aid organization that cared for refugee children. Feo was eventually sent to the OSE children's home, Chateau Masgelier, and Michael may have joined her there. In 1942, Margarete and Moritz were separated and were only able to see each once every few weeks. In August 1942, Moritz learned that he would be transferred to an unknown camp, and Margarete volunteered to go with him. That month, they were deported to Auschwitz, where they were killed. Ernest passed away, age 59, on May 1, 1975, and Beate passed away, age 82, on April 1, 1991.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Identifying Artifacts
    Category
    Badges
    Physical Description
    Yellow cloth badge in the shape of a 6 pointed Star of David stitched to black cloth backing. The star outline is formed from 2 overlapping, dyed triangles and has German text in the center. The edges are slightly frayed where it was cut from a larger piece of cloth.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 3.750 inches (9.525 cm) | Width: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm)
    Materials
    overall : cloth, dye

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The Star of David Badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2010 by Carol Oppenheimer Wolinsky, the daughter of Beate and Ernest Oppenheimer.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 21:51:11
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn43214

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