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Blue velvet tefillin pouch found in a shallow grave by a Jewish American soldier

Object | Accession Number: 1988.118.1 a

Blue embroidered tefillin storage pouch found by Walter Fried, an American soldier and Jewish Austrian refugee, near Regensburg, Germany circa April 1945. Walter found the pouch with a tefillin set (1988.118.g-l) on the body of a concentration camp inmate who died on a forced march and was buried in a shallow grave along a road near Regensburg. Tefillin are small boxes containing prayers attached to leather straps and worn on the arm and the head by Orthodox Jewish males during morning prayers. The Army arranged the re-burial of the bodies in a makeshift cemetery at a road crossing near Regensburg. A ceremony was conducted by liberated concentration camp inmates and attended by German officials. Walter, 25, and his family fled Austria for America shortly after the annexation by Germany in March 1938. Walter entered the Army in November 1943 and served with the 243rd Combat Engineer Battalion. In April 1945, he was transferred to the Counterintelligence Corps as a translator. After the war ended on May 7, Walter was transferred to War Crimes Investigating Team, Judge Advocate Section, where he translated and interviewed former concentration camp inmates, guards, and commanders, as well as German citizens.

Date
after 1945 April 22-before 1945 May  (found)
Geography
found : Regensburg (Germany)
Language
Hebrew
Classification
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Tefillin bags (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Walter Fried
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:26:46
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn514017