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Luftwaffe paratrooper badge with gold diving eagle acquired by German Jewish US soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2003.149.74

Luftwaffe (German Air Force) paratroopers badge, with a gold diving eagle over a silver wreath acquired by Rudolph Sichel, a Jewish refugee from Frankfurt, Germany, who served in the US Army in Europe from July 1944 to June 1946. This type of patch was issued to airmen who had successfully completed six jumps. In May 1936, Sichel, unable to return to Germany from England, left for the US. In April 1943, he enlisted in the army and was sent to Camp Ritchie for military intelligence training. In July 1944, Sichel, now Chief Interrogator, Interrogation of Prisoners of War Team 13, landed on Utah Beach in France, where his unit was attached to the 104th Infantry, the Timberwolf Division. As the unit advanced through France, Belgium, and into Germany, Sichel interrogated those captured. On April 11, 1945, the unit liberated Dora-Mittelbau/Nordhausen concentration camp and Rudolph witnessed the horrific conditions. A skilled photographer, he took snapshots of the camp and other events of his military tour. Following Germany’s surrender in May, 2nd Lt. Sichel was attached to the 9th Army. He interrogated prisoners of war and civilian witnesses, and did fact finding for war crimes trials. In June 1946, 1st Lt. Sichel returned to the US. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service.

received:  after 1944 July-before 1946 June
issue: Germany
Military Insignia
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Howard S. Sichel and Linda Sichel Strohmenger
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:27:56
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