Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

Handmade Star of David pendant given to an American liberator by a Polish Jewish slave laborer

Object | Accession Number: 1992.164.1 b

Handmade, beaded, Star of David pendant given to US Private First Class Marvin Dorf by a young Polish woman, who he helped free from a forced labor transport near Munich, Germany, in April 1945. Marvin grew up in New York City, the son of Jewish immigrants. After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and Germany’s subsequent declaration of war on the United States, Marvin enlisted in the United States Army in October 1942, where he was assigned to Troop E of the 92nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squad (Mechanized), 12th Armored Division. In April 1945, He arrived in Europe in the fall of 1944, and took part in the drive to Germany’s Rhine River in March 1945. In April, Marvin’s unit was near Munich, Germany, and he was sent out on reconnaissance because he spoke German. In one town, he learned of a disabled train that had been damaged by American planes and was guarded by German soldiers. The captain allowed him to take a group of men to investigate the train, and they easily ran off the German guards with little force. When Marvin and his group opened the train doors, they saw hundreds of sick and dying prisoners from a German labor camp. Among those prisoners was a young Polish woman and her little sister, who was badly injured from a munitions factory accident. The older sister gave him a handmade Star of David necklace with a Hebrew abbreviation for God, which she had hidden in a secret hem in her skirt. Marvin’s division was relieved on May 4 (three days before Germany surrendered to the Allies), and assigned to security duty until November 22, when they sailed back to the United States.

Date
received:  1945 April
Geography
received: Germany
Language
Hebrew
Classification
Jewelry
Category
Necklaces
Object Type
Necklaces (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Pendants (Jewelry)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marvin Dorf
 
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:24:06
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn5959