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Two-sided silk escape map of Western Europe carried by a US soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2013.318.2

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    Two-sided silk escape map of Western Europe carried by a US soldier

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    British made topographical silk escape map of Western Europe carried by First Lieutenant Leonard Greenblatt during his service as a US soldier in Germany in May 1945. The British issued this type of map to help soldiers find their way to safety if caught behind enemy lines. Silk maps were used because they were durable, easy to conceal, and made no noise. Leonard, age 23, enlisted in November 1941. He deployed with his unit, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, in April 1943 to French Morocco. Leonard was a platoon leader and participated in eight campaigns as the 504th advanced into Germany. On April 6, 1945, the unit crossed the Rhine near Hitsdorf, Germany, as a diversionary tactic to mislead the Germans for which it was awarded a Presidential citation. Leonard also was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions at Anzio. On May 2, the 82nd Airborne liberated Wobbelin concentration camp. Leonard visited Wobbelin, took photographs, and wrote a letter home about the atrocities he witnessed. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. The 82nd Airborne was placed on occupation duty in Berlin. Leonard returned to the US in September and was discharged in November.
    Title
    Belgium and Germany (New Frontier), - Sheet C/43C- Sheet D/43D
    Date
    use:  1945 May
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Marilyn D. Greenblatt
    Markings
    front, top, left side of legend box, black dye : LEGEND / Important through roads / Other main roads / Subsidiary roads / Special Motorways/Autobahns, etc. / Numbers of routes nationals / Distances in kilometres / Railways / Canals / International frontiers / Former frontiers / HOLLAND / BELGIUM (EXCEPT WEST COAST) / FRANCE (NORTH EAST) / GERMANY (WEST & CENTRAL) / For enlargement of / NEW / GERMAN - BELGIUM / FRONTIER / see inset Sheet “D” / turn over
    front, top, center of legend box, black dye : SCALE 1 : 1,000,000 / English Miles / Kilometres / The Heights engraved on the map are in Metres
    front, top, right side of legend box, black dye : SHEET C
    front, top right corner, black dye : 43/C
    back, top right corner, black dye : 43/D
    back, bottom left, left side of legend box, black dye : FRANCE (SOUTH EAST) / GERMANY (SOUTH WEST) / SWITZERLAND (EXCEPT SOUTH EAST) / ABOVE / (FOR ENLARGEMENT OF GERMAN-SWISS FRONTIER see inset Sheet “B”) / LEGEND / Important through roads / Other main roads / Subsidiary roads / Special Motorways/Autobahns, etc. / Numbers of routes nationalEs / Line of Demarcation / Distances in kilometres... / Railways / Canals / International frontier / Former frontier / Scale = 1 : 1,000,000 / English Miles / Kilometres / The Heights engraved on the map are in Metres
    back, bottom, within box, black dye : SHEET D
    back, bottom center, within box, black dye : INSET / RIGHT / BELGIUM & GERMANY / (NEW FRONTIER) / 1 : 250,000 / Scale 1 Inch to 3-945 Miles, / or 1-014 Inches to 4 Miles. / Miles / Kilometres / 1 Centimetre to 2-5 Kilometres. / LEGEND / Churches / Forts / Lighthouses / Heights in metres / Contour interval 50 metres / Woods in green, Orchards are not shown / Railways (double) with Station / “ (single) “ “ / “ narrow gauge or Tramway / Roads main (macadamized or paved) with Tramway / secondary “ “ / minor / Former Frontiers / Present Frontiers
    Contributor
    Subject: Leonard Greenblatt
    Biography
    Leonard (Leslie) Greenblatt was born December 3, 1917, in Vineland, New Jersey, to Jewish parents Morris (Moses) and Ida Lipman Greenblatt. Leonard had an older sister, Judith, and a younger brother, Edwin. His father, who had immigrated from Russia in the 1890s, was a chicken farmer. Morris died in 1928, when Leonard was 10 years old. During the 1930s, Leonard’s family moved to Miami, Florida. Leonard graduated from college and worked as an accountant in Miami.

    On November 12, 1941, Leonard enlisted in the US Army. On December 8, the United States entered World War II. In spring 1942, Leonard was assigned to the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. In April 1943, the 82nd Airborne was deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Leonard was a platoon leader and participated in eight campaigns as the unit advanced through Italy, France, and into Germany: Sicilian, Naples, Foggia, Rome, Arno, Ardennes - Battle of the Bulge, Rhineland, beginning with Operation Market Garden, and Central Europe campaign. The 504th crossed the Rhine on April 6, 1945, near Hitsdorf, a diversionary tactic to mislead the Germans. On May 2, 1945, the 82nd Airborne liberated Woebbelin concentration camp, a subcamp in the Neuengamme system. Following the liberation, Leonard visited the camp and photographed the atrocities. In a May 6 letter to his future wife, Betty Mae Bender (1921 - 1999), Leonard described seeing a building where “the dead were stacked three and four deep - all just skin and bones” and wrote that “it [was] difficult to believe that human beings were responsible for such a mess - even after actually seeing it.”

    Following Germany’s May 7 surrender, the 82nd Airborne remained on occupation duty in the American sector of Berlin. First Lieutenant Greenblatt returned to the US in September 1945 and was honorably discharged in November. He received a Bronze Star for amphibious activities at Anzio, a combat infantryman's badge, and a Presidential citation for the Hitsdorf battle. Leonard married Betty Mae and they had two children. Leonard, age 90, died on November 25, 2008, in Pineville, North Carolina.

    Physical Details

    Language
    English
    Classification
    Information Forms
    Category
    Maps
    Object Type
    Military maps (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Double sided, square, offwhite silk topographical map of Germany and bordering Western European nations and an inset of the new frontier between Germany and Belgium. Country names are printed in uppercase blue letters and cities and towns in black; the background is offwhite with water in blue and mountains and elevated areas in shades of yellow and orange. The scale is 1: 1,000,000. The inset map is 1: 250,000, both with a kilometer and a mile scale. Longitude and latitude are numbered in a border around the map. On the main map, the front is labeled Sheet C, 43/C and depicts Holland, Belgium (Except West Coast), France (North East), and Germany (West & Central). The back is labeled Sheet D, 43/D and depicts France (South East), Germany (South West), and Switzerland (Except South East.); the inset: Belgium & Germany (New Frontier.) There are legends for the main and inset maps with an elevation scale in meters and feet, important roadway features, and former and present frontiers. The front has a legend in the top left corner and the back main and inset legends are along the bottom.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 28.125 inches (71.438 cm) | Width: 28.750 inches (73.025 cm)
    Materials
    overall : silk, dye

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The map was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by Marilyn D. Greenblatt, the daughter of Leonard Greenblatt.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-02 16:00:18
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn77260

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