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Bootjack used by a Polish prisoner of war passing as Ukrainian in a German stalag

Object | Accession Number: 2004.525.4

Bootjack used by Salomon (Salek) Strauss in his assumed identity as Timofiej Marko when he was a prisoner of war in Stalag II A in Germany and a leader of forced labor groups in Wiener-Neustadt concentration camp in Austria. On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland and Salomon was mobilized into the 19th Infantry Battalion, Polish Army. On September 16, he was captured as a prisoner of war and taken to Stalag II A. Salek feared discovery as a Jew and a Communist and created an identity as a Ukrainian, Tomasz Timofiej Marko. He maintained this identity from September 1939- May 1945 in several POW stalags and concentration/labor camps. Salomon was declared a racially pure Ukrainian and released from Stalag VIII-B in February 1941. He was provided training in metal work and made the leader of groups of Ukrainian laborers in Germany and Austria. He was able to travel and provided many with false identification papers. On May 9, 1945, the Wiener-Neustadt region was liberated by the Soviet Army. Salomon identified himself and was arrested by the Soviets, charged with treason, and sentenced to death. He was released with the aid of a Soviet Jewish officer. His entire family was killed by Ukrainian collaborationists in 1943. After the war, he enlisted in the Polish Army. Salomon changed his name to Strauss-Marko to commemorate his wartime ordeal.

Date
1939-1945  (use)
Geography
use : Stalag II A; Neubrandenburg (Germany)
use : Wiener Neustadt (Concentration camp); Wiener Neustadt (Austria)
Classification
Dress Accessories
Category
Footwear
Object Type
Bootjacks (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Eva Strauss-Marko
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:25:48
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn522368