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Maccabi sports club patch with a blue Star of David and Aachen worn by a Jewish youth

Object | Accession Number: 2012.433.2

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    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.
    use:  approximately 1935
    use: Aachen (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Judith Gross
    Subject: 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.

    Physical Details

    German Hebrew
    Identifying Artifacts
    Object Type
    Badges (lcsh)
    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

    Administrative Notes

    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:

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