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Royal Welch Fusiliers economy issue cap badge worn by a British soldier and Kindertransport refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2016.203.7

Royal Welch Fusiliers economy issue badge worn by Norman Miller (previously Norbert Müller), a German Jewish refugee, during his service in the British Army from 1944 to 1947. As World War II progressed, a shortage of brass, considered a strategic metal, led the British army to replace traditional brass cap badges with plastic economy ones. This change resulted in the conservation of a large quantity of brass for critical wartime use, such as munitions. On November 9, 1938, during Kristallnacht in Nuremberg, Germany, the apartment Norbert shared with his parents, Sebald and Laura, younger sister, Suse, and grandmother, Clara Jüngster, was ransacked by local men with axes. In late August 1939, Norbert, managed to leave Germany for London, with a Kindertransport [Children's Transport] two days prior to the start of World War II. Norbert was able to exchange letters with his family until communications ceased in May 1941. In 1944, Norbert enlisted in the British army and changed his name. In early 1945, his unit was deployed to Belgium. The fusiliers, named for the flintlock muskets they carried, gained the title of “The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Fusiliers” in the 1700s. The designation was shortened to the Royal Welch Fusiliers, utilizing the original spelling of Welsh. In the 1800s, the fused or flaming grenade bearing the Prince’s badge became the unit’s identifying insignia. When Germany surrendered on May 7, his unit was in Hamburg. After the war, Norman learned that his family had been deported in November 1941, to Riga, Latvia and interned in Jungfernhof concentration camp where they fell ill with typhus and were killed in a mass execution on March 26, 1942. Norman eventually immigrated to the United States and became a citizen in 1955. He married a fellow German, Jewish emigrant, Ingeborg Sommer and they had two sons.

use:  1944-1945
use: Belgium
use: Germany
Military Insignia
Object Type
Badges (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Norman A. Miller
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 08:48:50
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