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Honor Cross of the World War 1914/1918 ribbon awarded to a German Jewish soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2004.388.3

WWI service ribbon, known as the Hindenburg Cross, awarded to Leo Freyer, a German Jewish veteran of the Austro-Hungarian Army, World War I. The medal was established by President von Hindenburg in July 1934 to honor German participants of the Great War. Individuals had to apply to the government to receive the medal. It was the only medal issued by the Third Reich to honor veterans of that war. As the Nazi dictatorship increased its persecution of Jews after coming to power in 1933, Leo decided to leave the country with his wife, Eva, and their 2 daughters, Ulla, then 12, and Marion, 8. He found relatives in the United States who agreed to sponsor the family so they could obtain visas. The first affidavit submitted in 1938 was rejected by the US consulate, but a second relative's pledge was accepted. They were at the embassy for the mandatory physicals on the day Germany invaded Poland, the beginning of World War II, and told to return later. They received the visas September 5 and sailed from Rotterdam for New York on November 22. Nearly all of their family members who remained in Germany were murdered during the Holocaust.

commemoration:  1914-1918
issue:  1934 July 13-1944
issue: Berlin (Germany)
Military Insignia
Object Type
Medals, German (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marion Freyer Wolff
Record last modified: 2023-03-02 14:28:38
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