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Blue cross armband worn by a Jewish Russian nurse caring for refugee children

Object | Accession Number: 2007.212.2

Blue cross armband worn by Menia Awret-Back, while working as a nurse for Jewish refugee children during the war in Brussels. Belgium was occupied by Germany in May 1940. Restrictions were placed on Jews to exclude them from society. Jewish children and expectant mothers were not allowed to be treated in existing facilities. Menia, as a Jewish nurse, had to wear an armband with a blue cross in place of the usual red cross. Since 1938, Menia had worked for L'Ouevre Nationale de L'Enfance [National Children's Aid] and the Belgium Red Cross, which now established and staffed special treatment centers for Jewish patients. In summer 1940, the German began deporting non-Belgian Jews, which put Menia at risk because she held a Russian passport. The charitable agencies for which she worked successfully requested that she be allowed to remain because of the importance of her work. The Swedish Consulate wrote letters stating that she was a holder of a valid Russian passport and that they were placing her under their protection. Menia's husband Isaac was arrested and jailed for anti-Nazi activity in 1941. He and Menia were reunited after the war ended in May 1945.

use:  1940-1945
use: Brussels (Belgium)
Identifying Artifacts
Object Type
Armbands (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Serge Back
Record last modified: 2022-04-28 15:33:29
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