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Cross of Honor of the German Mother medal, 1st Class, Gold, acquired by a US soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2003.272.2 a-b

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    Cross of Honor of the German Mother medal, 1st Class, Gold, acquired by a US soldier


    Brief Narrative
    Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter [Cross of Honor of the German Mother] medal and presentation box acquired by Sidney Tick, a soldier in the 3rd Battalion, 329th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division. The Mother's Cross was instituted by the Nazi Party in 1938. It was first awarded in 1939 to some 3 million mothers as a propaganda measure to promote National Socialist population policy. Mothers of eight or more children received a gold cross, mothers of six or seven, a silver cross, and three or four, a bronze cross. In spring 1945, Sidney was deployed to the Europe to join the 83rd Division as it advanced through western Germany. In April, the Division liberated subcamps of Buchenwald concentration camp. Because Sidney spoke Yiddish, he was selected to work as a translator with the former prisoners of Buchenwald and its subcamps, as well as liberated prisoners from Dachau.
    commemoration:  1938 December 16
    found:  approximately 1945 April-approximately 1946 March
    found: Germany
    manufacture: Pforzheim (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of the Tick family
    a. front, embossed : DER DEUTSCHEN / MUTTER [The German Mother]
    a. reverse, engraved : 16. / Dezember / 1938 / Adolf Hitler
    b. lid, interior, black ink : R. HAUSCHILD, PFORZHEIM.
    Subject: Sidney S. Tick
    Manufacturer: R. Hauschild
    Sidney S. Tick was born on July 16, 1923, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to a Jewish couple, Joseph (1884-1951) and Sadie (1882-1958) Solomon Tick. Both of his parents were born in Poland and immigrated to the United States, Joseph in 1899 and Sadie in 1904. Joseph owned a dry goods and hardware store. Sidney had three older siblings: Jacob, William, and Frances. In spring 1941, Sidney graduated from high school. That fall he began college and worked as a salesperson.
    Following the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States entered World War II. On February 6, 1943, Sidney was drafted into the US Army. Private First Class Sidney Tick was assigned to the Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 329th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division. In spring 1945, Sidney was sent to the European Theater to join the 83rd Division as it advanced through western Germany. In April, the Division encountered and liberated a group of adjacent subcamps of Buchenwald concentration camp. Following the liberation, Sidney’s commanding officer selected him to work closely with the former prisoners of Buchenwald and its subcamps because he spoke Yiddish and could translate. He was also tasked to work with liberated prisoners from Dachau concentration camp. Mr. Wilkowitz, one of the prisoners Sidney spoke with, asked if he could get a message to his brother in New York City to let him know that he and his family had survived. Sidney wrote to his father, Joseph, and asked him to find the family.
    On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. The 83rd Division was placed on occupation duty in Germany. Joseph was able to locate the Wilkowitz family in New York and let them know that their relatives were alive. On March 26, 1946, the 83rd Division returned to the US for deactivation. On April 9, Sidney was honorably discharged. Sidney returned to Scranton and became a successful businessman. Sidney, 79, died on August 31, 2002, in Scranton.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Medals, German (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    a. Gold colored, cross pattee medal with a black enamel swastika on a white circle surrounded by a gold band with raised German text. Behind the band is a 5 rayed golden sunburst, forming a square that fills the space between the cross arms. The blue enamel arms have a white border with a gold metal edge, and have flared, concave ends and an elongated bottom center arm. A date and German text are engraved on the reverse. At the top is a rectangular bail threaded with a grosgrain ribbon with 7 vertical stripes: narrow white, narrow blue, narrow white, center blue, narrow white, narrow blue, and narrow white. The ribbon, a 10 inch loop, is not sewn closed.
    b. Rectangular, cardboard, top hinged clamshell case covered with dark blue imitation leather. Impressed in the center is a gold inked imprint of the medal, a cross pattee with an elongated lower arm, swastika, and a 5 rayed sunburst. There is a metal push button release and catch on the front base. The lid interior is padded and covered with a satiny white cloth. The base interior has a cardboard insert covered with a pale yellow velvety cloth, with a horizontal panel and a central notch to hold the medal.
    a: Height: 1.875 inches (4.763 cm) | Width: 1.500 inches (3.81 cm) | Depth: 0.125 inches (0.318 cm)
    b: Height: 0.750 inches (1.905 cm) | Width: 1.875 inches (4.763 cm) | Depth: 1.500 inches (3.81 cm)
    a : metal, ribbon, enamel paint
    b : cardboard, plastic, cloth, metal, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The medal was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Roslyn Sholin, the executor for the Estate of the Tick family and niece of Sidney Tick.
    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:
    2023-08-25 17:22:56
    This page:

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