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Armband worn by a Jewish American prisoner in Compiègne internment camp

Object | Accession Number: 2018.337.4

Armband worn by George Waldman while he was held in Compiègne internment camp in France, from December 1941 to July 1943. George, Betsy, and their teenage son John were American citizens who lived in Paris to manage their paper import-export business. On September 3, 1939, in response to the German invasion of Poland, France declared war on Germany. In May of 1940, Germany invaded and quickly defeated France, occupying the northern half of the country. Despite their Jewish heritage, the Waldmans were left alone by the Germans due to their American citizenship. In response to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan. Subsequently, Germany declared war on the U.S. on December 11, 1941. The next day George was arrested and detained at Compiègne as an enemy alien. On January 11, 1943, Betsy and John were arrested and detained in Vittel internment camp. In July, George was removed from Compiègne, taken to Vittel, and reunited with his family. Due to their American citizenship, the Waldmans received better treatment than other prisoners at the internment camps. They had hotel like accommodations, with heat and running water, were able to send and receive mail, and received weekly Red Cross packages. On September 12, 1944, the Vittel internment camp was liberated by Free French forces and the Waldmans returned to the United States in October 1945.

use:  1940 September-1943 July
use: Compiegne (Concentration camp); Compiegne (France)
Identifying Artifacts
Object Type
Armbands (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Deborah Pearson and Janet Waldman
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:09:47
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