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Star of David badge printed Jood worn by German Jewish boy

Object | Accession Number: 1989.251.8

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    Star of David badge printed Jood worn by German Jewish boy


    Brief Narrative
    Yellow cloth Star of David patch, with Jood for Jew, worn by Rene W. Schonfeldt, 10, in German occupied Netherlands beginning April 29, 1942, when he was interned in Westerbork transit camp. Jews were required to wear the badges to separate them from the general population, make them easy to identify, and humiliate them and signify their inferiority. Soon after Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, Rene's parents Hans and Hanna fled Berlin with their infant son to Hilversum, Netherlands. In May 1940, Germany occupied the Netherlands. In January 1942, Rene and his parents were interned in Westerbork transit camp. In September 1944, they were deported to Theresienstadt. Soon after their arrival, his father was sent to Auschwitz and murdered. Theresienstadt was liberated by Soviet troops on May 9, 1945. Rene and his mother were repatriated to the Netherlands. They left for America in 1948.
    use:  1942 April 29-1945 May 09
    received: Westerbork (Concentration camp); Westerbork (Netherlands)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Barbara and Ronald W. Schonfeld In memory of Hans Schönfeldt
    front, center, black ink : Jood [Jew]
    Subject: Ronald W. Schonfeld
    Rene Wolfgang Schönfeldt (Schoenfeldt) was born on February 8, 1932, in Berlin, Germany, to Jewish parents, Hans Phillip and Hanna Goldmann Schonfeldt. Hans was born in Berlin to Willi and Marie Schonfeldt on March 14, 1902. Hanna was born on September 8, 1903 in Berlin. In January 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor and the Nazi dictatorship was firmly established by summer. The regime immediately enacted laws to persecute and disenfranchise the Jewish population. Hans, Hanna, and Rene fled to the Netherlands that year and settled in Hilversum.

    In May 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands. The occupation government was led by SS Reich Commissar Seyss-Inquart and anti-Jewish policies were immediately put in place. On January 9, 1941, Rene and his parents were sent to an internment camp in Westerbork, first set-up to hold non-Dutch Jews. It then became a transit camp which also processed and detained Dutch Jews prior to deportation to extermination and concentration camps in the east. On April 29, 1942, all Jews were required to wear Star of David badges at all times. By summer, there were frequent departures of large scale transports of Jews to the east. On September 4, 1944, Rene, Hans, and Hanna were deported to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German occupied Czechoslovakia. Soon after their arrival, on September 29, his father Hans was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Near the end of the war in spring 1945, the German were evacuating camps in the east and sending inmates to Theresienstadt. Rene searched each arriving transport, hoping to find his father, but he never saw him again. Rene and his mother were in Theresienstadt when it was liberated by Soviet troops on May 9, 1945.

    Rene and his mother Hanna were repatriated to the Netherlands. His father was presumed killed at Auschwitz. Hanna married Ulrich (Martin) Gross on July 16, 1947, in Hilversum. Ulrich, born July 11, 1885, was also from Berlin. The three immigrated to the United States on October 16, 1948, sailing from England to New York on board the Queen Elizabeth. They settled in California. Rene changed his name to Ronald Waldo Schonfeld. He married Barbara in 1974. Hanna, 101, passed away on May 11, 2004.

    Physical Details

    Identifying Artifacts
    Physical Description
    Yellow cloth badge in the shape of a 6 pointed Star of David. The star outline is formed from 2 overlapping, dyed triangles and has the Dutch word Jood in a pseudo-Hebrew font printed on the front. Around the edges is a printed star outline made from dash marks. The edges are folded and neatly sewn to offwhite cotton backing, which has a horizontal center slit. The badge is faded with some stains. Those required to wear the badges had to cut them out from larger sheets of cloth and the dash marks were cutting guidelines. Many people sewed them to another piece of cloth so they would last longer.
    overall: Height: 4.125 inches (10.478 cm) | Width: 3.625 inches (9.208 cm)
    overall : cotton, dye

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1989 by Ronald W. Schonfeld.
    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:
    2023-02-23 16:49:16
    This page:

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