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WWI Red Cross medal ribbon awarded to German Jewish woman

Object | Accession Number: 2003.361.19

Rothe Kreuz [For Merit in the Red Cross] medal ribbon awarded to Hildegard Alexander for her service as a nurse in World War I (1914-1918). See 2003.361.8 for the Rothe Kreuz medal she was also awarded. Her husband, Moritz Henschel, had been decorated for his service in the German Army during the war. Moritz was an influential lawyer in Berlin when Hitler came to power in Germany in January 1933. As government persecution of Jews intensified, Moritz and Hildegard sent their daughters Marianne, 15, to Palestine and Lilly, 13, to England in 1939. Moritz was on the board of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany, created by the Nazi government in February 1939 to organize Jewish affairs. The Association was eventually forced to assist with deportations. In 1940, Moritz became president of the Berlin Jewish Community. In January 1943, Moritz became president of the Reich Association, when Leo Baeck was deported. On June 10, 1943, the Reich Association was shut down and Moritz and Hildegard were deported to Theresienstadt. Moritz was elected to the Jewish Council and put in charge of the Freizeitgestaltung, which produced cultural events and materials. On May 9, 1945, the camp was liberated by Soviet forces. Moritz and Hildegard went to Deggendorf displaced persons camp, then emigrated to Palestine in 1946.

commemoration:  1914-1918
Object Type
Medals, German (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Yoel Givol and Michal Lilli Kahani, in memory of their grandparents, Hildegard and Moritz Henschel
Record last modified: 2023-08-24 15:10:27
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