- Brief Narrative
- White sleeve badge worn by Isidore (later Edward) Gross as a teenager when he played soccer with the Maccabi Sports Club in Aachen, Germany. He lived with his parents, Markus and Ida, and two younger siblings in Aachen, Germany. His parents had been born in Poland, but had lived in Aachen since 1920. Since the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship in1933, Jew were increasingly persecuted in Germany. In fall 1938, Markus was deported back to Poland by the German authorities. Following Kristallnacht on November 9-10. Isidore, age 17, and his maternal uncle Jacob were arrested. Isidore was released because he could prove he was planning to leave Germany. Jacob was sent to Sachenhausen concentration camp where he died in late 1939 or early 1940. Markus was released from Zbaszyn holding camp in Poland once his family got him a US visa. In 1939, Edward and Markus immigrated to New York. Edward’s mother and siblings, Ida, Lena, and Morris, were held in Gruener Weg camp in Aachen but, in 1941, arrived in the US via Portugal. In 1943, Edward was drafted into the US Army. He served with the 703rd Engineer Petroleum Distributing Company in campaigns in North Africa and Italy. Most of the extended Gross and Reiter families in Europe perished in the Holocaust.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judith Gross
Edward I. Gross
Isidore (later Edward) Gross was born on October 31, 1921, in Aachen, Germany, to Markus and Ida Reiter Gross. Markus was born on July 27, 1895, in Kalusz, Poland (Kalush, Ukraine), to Samuel and Esther Ehrlich Gross. Ida was born in approximately 1890 in Nowica, Poland, to Israel Isser Sculiezer and Esther Neuhauser Reiter. Markus left Kalusz in 1912 and married Ida in 1919. In 1920, they joined Ida’s brother Jacob and sister Celia in Aachen, Germany. Jacob Reiter and his wife Toni had moved to Aachen several years before and owned a shoe store as well as a large building in the town center. Celia and her husband Morris Hausman moved to Aachen in 1919 and opened a shoe store. Markus opened a shoe store in the neighboring town of Kohlshied. Markus and Isa had two more children in Aachen: Isidore’s younger sister Lena, was born on January 25, 1924, and a brother, Morris, was born in approximately 1932. The family attended synagogue regularly and Isidore attended a Jewish school.
In January 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Jews were persecuted under the Nazi government almost immediately. Isidore’s Aunt Celia died in a hospital in 1933. The family believed she was killed by lethal injection because she was Jewish by a nurse with Nazi sympathies. Isidore was bar mitzvahed on September 22, 1934. He played soccer at the Maccabi sports club, a Jewish organization. In September 1935, the Nuremberg Laws, racial based anti-Jewish laws, were enacted. Celia’s husband Morris and four of their children left for Palestine in 1936. In November 1936, Isidore had to register with the Nazi regime. Shortly after Germany annexed Austria in March 1938, Poland passed a law to invalidate the passports of all Polish Jews who had not been in Poland for five years or more. In September 1938, Markus was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to Zbaszyn, a town in Poland near the German border, where he lived in a refugee camp. On October 26-28, 1938, the German government began deporting all non-native Polish Jews back to Poland.
During Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938, the Aachen synagogue was burned. Isidore and his uncle Jacob were arrested by the Gestapo. Ida, Lena and Morris, and Ida’s mother Ester Reiter moved into Uncle Jacob’s apartment building. Jacob’s wife Toni fled to her hometown of Hamburg. Jacob was imprisoned in Sachenhausen concentration camp, where he died in late 1939 or early 1940. Isidore was allowed to return home because he had proof that he was making arrangements to leave the country. Isadore's maternal great aunt aunt and her husband, Anna and Samuel Krakauer, who owned a prosperous mattress factory in Brooklyn, sponsored his and Markus's immigrations. They already employed Sarah Gross and Irving Gross, Markus’s sister and brother, who had left Germany years earlier. Anna and Samuel sent money and the necessary papers and proof of financial support for Isadore and Markus to get US visas. Markus was allowed to return to Aachen from Zbaszyn in May 1939 because he had obtained a visa to immigrate to the United States. Isidore had to report to the German authorities weekly with proof that he was trying to obtain a visa. Per a September 1939 letter from the Committee for the Aid for the Jews in Germany, his visa was dependent upon Markus leaving the country. On October 28, Markus boarded the SS Veendam in Antwerp and arrived in New York on November 10. On November 1, 1939, Isidore received his immigrant identification card. Isidore left Germany for Norway where, on December 14, he left Oslo on the SS Bergensfjord and arrived in New York on December 23. He and Markus moved in with Markus’s brother, Irving. Isidore worked at a handbag factory and Markus worked in a garment factory.
In July 1940, Isidore’s maternal grandmother Ester died of natural causes. In 1941, his mother and siblings, Ida, Lena, and Morris were sent to Gruener Weg, a holding camp in Aachen. Markus and Isidore were able to make travel and visa arrangements and to get Ida, Lena, and Morris released from the camp. They boarded the SS Mouzinho in Lisbon, Portugal on August 20, 1941, and arrived in New York on September 2. The family was reunited and moved into a new apartment.
Isidore Americanized his name to Edward Isadore Gross. Edward was drafted into the US Army on August 31, 1942. On May 22, 1943, he became a naturalized US citizen. Edward was a Technician Fourth Grade with the 703rd Engineer Petroleum Distributing Company and served in the Italian campaigns in the North Apennines, Po Valley, and Rome-Arno. When Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945, Edward was in Rome. He was honorably discharged on December 1, 1945. In 1946, Edward took courses at City College in New York. He became a manufacturer’s representative in the metal findings business. He married Irene Kanelstein and they had two children. Lena married and had five children and Morris never married. Most of the extended Gross and Reiter families perished in the Holocaust. Markus, age 88, died in June 1984. Edward, age 90, died on February 9, 2012, in Palm Beach, Florida.
- Object Type
- Physical Description
- Circular offwhite cloth patch, now discolored, with a Star of David embroidered in blue thread on the front; the points touch the blue embroidered border around the edge of the patch. The Hebrew character Mem is embroidered in blue thread in the center of the star. The word Aachen is embroidered vertically in a break in the star embroidery on the left. The cloth edges are folded over and pressed.
- overall: Height: 2.500 inches (6.35 cm) | Width: 2.375 inches (6.033 cm)
- overall : cloth, thread
- front, left, vertical, embroidered, blue thread: AACHEN
front, center, embroidered, blue thread: מ [m]
Rights & Restrictions
- Conditions on Access
- No restrictions on access
- Conditions on Use
- No restrictions on use
Keywords & Subjects
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- The sports club patch was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2012 by Judith Gross, the daughter of Edward I. Gross.
- Record last modified:
- 2023-04-06 08:51:51
- This page:
Also in Edward Isidor Gross collection
The collection consists of a sports club patch, documents, photographs, and publications relating to the experiences of Edward Isadore Gross and his family before the war in Aachen, Germany, and during the war in the United States, when Edward was in the United States Army.
Date: approximately 1920-1945
The Isidor Gross papers consist of documents and photographs that concern the family, immigration, and United States Army service of German born Jewish man, Isidor Gross. After being arrested by the Gestapo in 1938, Isidor and his father Markus fled Aachen, Germany for the United States and successfully rescued his mother and two younger siblings from a holding camp. Included in this collection are several documents from Isidor’s childhood in Germany, among them, his birth certificate, school report card, and employment workbook. Also included are papers documenting Isidor’s naturalization as a United States citizen, his enlistment, assignments, coursework, and discharge from the US Army, and some material related to restitution claims. Photographs of the Gross family in Aachen and Brooklyn are also comprised in this collection. The Isidor Gross papers are comprised of documents and photographs pertaining to Isidor Gross, his family, immigration to the United States from Germany, and service in the United States Army. Included in this collection are several documents from Isidor’s childhood in Germany, among them, his birth certificate, school report card, and the employment book he received upon his forced introduction into the workforce in 1936 after he completed the 8th grade. Documentation of Isidor’s immigration and naturalization include a letter from the Committee for Aid for Jews in Germany confirming his progress in leaving the country, his passage information for the SS Bergenfjord, paperwork declaring intent to seek United States citizenship, affidavits of his employment, and his naturalization certificate from 1943. Also comprised in this collection is a letter Markus wrote to the Morning Journal, a daily Jewish newspaper, seeking job advice as a recent immigrant to the country, though the letter is signed “Isidor G.” These papers also document coursework in English composition and mechanics that Isidor took while enlisted with the United States Army. Information regarding his enlistment and discharge are also included. Some material related to Isidor’s restitution claims and attempts to locate family members is also contained in this collection. Several photographs of Isidor, his parents, siblings, and paternal aunts and uncles are also comprised here within. Most of the photographs depict the Gross family in Brooklyn shortly after the war, though some are of the family in Aachen.