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Oak leaf wreath separated into sections awarded prewar to a Jewish youth for swimming across the Rhine River

Object | Accession Number: 2012.444.2 a-e

Oak leaf wreath with acorns, now in several pieces, awarded to Max Eis in the mid-1930’s for swimming across the Rhine River near the town of Mainz, Germany, where he lived with his parents, Jakob and Regina, and his brother, Albert. Max and Alfred participated in athletic competitions as members of the Mainz chapter of the Jewish sports club, Schild, which was associated with Reichsbund Juedischer Frontsoldaten (The Organization of Jewish Front-line Soldiers), an organization founded by Jewish veterans in 1919 to counter anti-Semitic accusations that Jewish soldiers had been weak and cowardly during World War I. In January 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany and many laws were enacted to restrict the lives of Jews. On August 16, 1938, 21 year old Max left Mainz for London, where, on September 2, he boarded a ship to the United States. In March 1939, Max helped Albert, 36, immigrate to the US. In September 1942, Max’s parents were deported to Theresienstadt labor camp-ghetto in German occupied Czechoslovakia, where Regina died in March 1943. Jakob was liberated at the camp May 1945 by Soviet forces. He joined his sons in the US in May 1946.

received:  1933-approximately 1937
received: Mainz (Germany : Landkreis)
Dress Accessories
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Regina Lackner
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:25:53
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