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Ceskoslovenskou Medaila za Chrabrost [Medal of Valor] awarded to a Czech Jewish soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2004.643.2

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    Ceskoslovenskou Medaila za Chrabrost [Medal of Valor] awarded to a Czech Jewish soldier

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Czechoslovak Medal for Valor 1939-1945 with striped ribbon awarded to Josef Hauptman in 1946 for bravery as a soldier during the war against Nazi Germany. He received the medal with a certificate (see 2004.643.1) on March 6, 1946. In 1938, Czechoslovakia was dismantled and its territory absorbed by Nazi Germany and its allies. Josef, 18, was drafted into the Soviet Army that year. He fought with Soviet forces for the rest of the war. He was wounded for the second time and hospitalized when the war ended on May 8, 1945. Sometime that summer, Josef became a member of the Czechoslovak Army. In December 1945, he was honored as a disabled veteran. Josef also received medals in recognition of his bravery during the war from both the Czechoslovak and Soviet governments.
    Date
    issue:  1946 March 06
    commemoration:  1939-1945
    Geography
    issue: Prague (Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joseph Hauptman
    Markings
    front, embossed : Za Chrabost [For Valor]
    reverse, embossed : PRAVDA / VÍTĚZÍ / 1939 [Truth Prevails]
    Contributor
    Subject: Joseph Hauptman
    Biography
    Josef Hauptman was born in Mukacevo, Czechoslovakia (Mukacheve, Ukraine), on June 5, 1919, to an Hasidic Jewish family. He had seven siblings. Josef was very devout and a frequent attendeee at the tish held by the Mukacevo Rabbi. Mukacheva was in the Carpathian Rus and had been part of Hungary until World War I after which it was made part of Czechoslovakia. In November 1938, Hungary reclaimed the territory with the support of Nazi Germany in the First Vienna Award. Sometime in 1938, Josef was drafted into a Soviet Army unit along with 1000 other Jewish men. He fought with the Soviet Army for seven years. He was wounded in a lung and an eye. While he was in the army hospital, a non-Jewish German doctor told Joseph that he should leave. Two days after Joseph left, the hospital was blown up.

    After the war ended in May 1945, Josef was repatriated to Czechoslovakia and made a member of the Czechoslovak Army. He was awarded several medals for his service during the war from both the Czechoslovak and the Soviet governments. The only surviving member of his family was a sister. Josef believed it was due to the protective presence of Hashem (God) that he survived. Josef married and the couple had two sons and a daughter. The family emigrated to Israel and Canada before settling in the United States where he Americanized the spelling of his name. Joseph, 91, passed away in 2011 in Queens, New York.

    Physical Details

    Language
    Czech
    Classification
    Military Insignia
    Category
    Medals
    Object Type
    Medals, Czech (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Bronze circular medal, 1.250 inches diameter, with an attached striped grosgrain ribbon. The front has an embossed design with an upright sword imposed over a left profile of a lion roaring with extended tongue, the Lion of Bohemia. To the left is a small double barred Cross of Lorraine and above, near the sword point, is a banner with Czech text. Along the edge is a linden wreath; the rim is smooth. The reverse has an embossed linden wreath along the edge, Czech text, and a date. Attached to the top is a suspension ring with a hinged V-shaped bar with embossed linden leaves through which the ribbon is threaded. The ribbon has 11 vertical stripes, the white are narrow, the red medium, and the blue wide: red, white, blue, white, red, white, red, white, blue, white, red. On the reverse is a metal backing pin with 2 prongs.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 3.875 inches (9.843 cm) | Width: 1.500 inches (3.81 cm) | Depth: 0.250 inches (0.635 cm)
    Materials
    overall : metal, ribbon

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The medal was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Joseph Hauptman.
    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:
    2023-08-31 14:42:47
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn516139

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