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Monte Cassino Commemorative Cross awarded to a Jewish soldier, 2nd Polish Corps

Object | Accession Number: 2012.471.21

Monte Cassino Commemorative Cross [Krzyż Pamiątkowy Monte Cassino] awarded to Edward Herzbaum, a soldier in the 2nd Polish Corps, for participation in the Battle of Monte Cassino, as well as Piedimonte and Passo Corno in Italy. The 2nd Polish Corps led the mountain assault in the May 1944 victory, the fourth battle waged by Allied forces since January 1944 to break through German defenses. Edward, age 19, had left Łódź, Poland, shortly after Germany occupied the country in September 1939 to stay with family in Soviet controlled Lvov. In June 1940, he was arrested by Soviet security police and exiled to a forced labor camp. Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Edward was released due to an amnesty granted to Polish prioners. He went south to join the Polish Army of the East, formed by General Anders per agreement with Stalin. In August 1942, the unit left Soviet territory and became the 2nd Polish Corps of the British Army. In February 1944, they deployed to join the 8th British Army in the Italian Campaign. The Corps fought its way north and was honored for its heroism in the Battle of Monte Cassino. They were in Italy on VE Day, May 8, 1945 when the war ended. Edward learned that his mother had died in the Łódź Ghetto in 1943. He studied architecture in Rome until the British decided to allow Polish Corps veterans to immigrate to England in October 1946. He then served in the Polish Resettlement Corps for two years and completed his degree.

commemoration:  1944 May
issue: Poland
Military Insignia
Object Type
Medals, Polish (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Krystyna Mew
Record last modified: 2021-03-01 10:50:27
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