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Dagger with a serrated edge and sheath acquired by a US soldier from German troops

Object | Accession Number: 1989.10.3 a-d

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    Dagger with a serrated edge and sheath acquired by a US soldier from German troops
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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Serrated fighting knife and sheath retrieved by Robert Alden, an American soldier, from German soldiers as he helped to liberate concentration camps in Germany in April-May 1945. The 22 year old Alden was a captain in the Corps of Engineers in the Third Army under General Patton. Divisions of the Third Army liberated several concentration camp, including Dora-Mittelbau, Buchenwald, Dachau and several subcamps. When the war in Europe ended on May 7, 1945, Alden went to the Philippines and was stationed in Japan during the US military occupation.
    Date
    received:  approximately 1945 April-1945 May
    Geography
    received: Germany
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Dion Alden Holt
    Contributor
    Subject: Robert Alden
    Biography
    Robert Alden was born on August 4, 1922, in Huntington on Long Island in New York. His father was a physician and his mother was a teacher. He attended City College from 1938-1942, then obtained a job as a messenger boy in the advertising department of the New York Times. He entered the United States Army on October 31, 1942. He earned the rank of captain as a platoon leader in the Corps of Engineers, Third Army, under General George S. Patton. He saw action in Europe during the Battle of the Bulge and during the continued advance through France, Germany, and Austria. Divisions of the Third Army liberated several concentration camp, including Dora-Mittelbau, Buchenwald and Dachau and several subcamps. When the war in Europe ended on May 7, 1945, Alden went to the Philippines and was stationed in Japan during the US military occupation. After his return stateside, he resumed his position as a copy editor and make-up man at the New York Times, and then became a local reporter. In 1969, Alden married Dion Imerman, with whom raised three stepdaughters. He held a number of different positions with the Times, including a stint as a war correspondent during the Korean War. In 1972, Alden became the United Nations bureau chief. He died, age 51, of a heart attack in 1973 in New York.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Weapons
    Object Type
    Daggers (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    a. Knife with black plastic on the middle of the handle and a jagged blade: .2-5/8 x 1-1/2 x 13-16" (6.7 x 3.8 x 3342.6 cm) [knife handle] ;15" (38.1 cm) [unsheathed knife]
    b. Black sheath.
    c. Black leather holster
    d. Detached handle piece
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 15.500 inches (39.37 cm) | Width: 2.750 inches (6.985 cm) | Depth: 1.250 inches (3.175 cm)
    Materials
    overall : metal, leather, plastic

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The knife was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1989 by Dion Alden Holt, the widow of Robert Alden.
    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:
    2023-06-06 13:18:55
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn822

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