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German marching compass in a case taken from an SS officer by a US soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2000.598.2

German marching compass taken from an SS officer by Hy Silverman, a soldier in the 322nd Field Artillery Battalion, US 83rd Infantry, at the liberation of a concentration camp in Germany, or possibly Austria, in spring 1945. While Hy, who spoke German and Yiddish, was talking with the emaciated prisoners, he saw a large man in a dark suit with a whistle and compass around his neck within the crowd. Hy felt the man did not belong because he looked too well-fed. At gun-point, Hy ordered him to remove the compass and whistle and took them. Hy asked the prisoners, in Yiddish, who the man was, and they said he was the commandant. As Hy remounted his truck, he said to kill him, and they did. Hy had landed on Omaha Beach in June 1944, was wounded, and returned to fight in the Battle of the Bulge. Around late April 1945, Hy’s group liberated a concentration camp during a rapid advance through Germany toward Austria. His division liberated Halberstadt-Langenstein-Zwieberge, a subcamp of Buchenwald, but Hy later believed that he and his unit might have freed a Mauthausen subcamp. On May 7, Germany surrendered. In March 1946, Hy’s Division returned to the US.

found:  approximately 1945 May
manufacture:  after 1930-before 1945
manufacture: Furth (Bavaria, Germany)
found: liberation of concentration camp;
Tools and Equipment
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Hy Silverman
Record last modified: 2021-12-10 07:34:22
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