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Polish military eagle badge worn by a Polish Jewish solider

Object | Accession Number: 2013.438.3

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    Brief Narrative
    Polish Army eagle badge worn by 21 year old Corporal Michal Goldin, a Polish solider who died in combat in Normandy, France, soon after D-Day in 1944. Michal was a high school student in Antwerp, Belgium, when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Separated from his family in Warsaw, he went to France and enlisted in the Polish Army. France surrendered in June 1940 and Michal’s unit retreated to Switzerland, where they were interned. In 1943, Michal escaped from Switzerland to Great Britain, where he rejoined the Polish Army. In June 1944, Michal participated in the Allied invasion of Normandy. On August 19, 1944, Michal volunteered to rescue an ambulance of wounded soldiers near Falaise and was killed. He was posthumously awarded the Polish Order Wojenny Virtuti Militari Silver Cross medal for this action.
    use:  approximately 1943-1944 August
    use: France
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mark and Paul Weinberg
    Subject: Michal Goldin
    Michal Goldin was born on August 30, 1922, in Warsaw, Poland, to a Jewish couple, Jacob and Rosa Ruth Mirski Goldin. He had one sister, Isabelle, who was born on April 24, 1925, in Warsaw. His father Jacob was born on February 16, 1889, in Slonim (Slonim, Belarus) and was an industrialist. His mother Rosa was born on September 18, 1901, in Warsaw. Michal attended high school in Heide Antwerp, Belgium.

    On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Michal was cut off from his family in Warsaw and enlisted in the Polish Army in exile in France. He fought in France following the German invasion in May 1940. As German troops advanced through France in June, his unit retreated across the border to Switzerland, where they were interned in camps. Michal attended the University of Fribourg and received an undergraduate law degree. In 1943, he escaped from Switzerland to Great Britain, where he rejoined the Polish Army and was assigned to a unit in Scotland. He attended the University of St. Andrews and received a master’s degree in economics. In June 1944, his unit was shipped to France and he participated in the invasion of Normandy. He served as a corporal. On August 19, 1944, 21 year old Michal was killed near Falaise while trying to evacuate an ambulance of wounded soldiers. He was posthumously awarded a Virtuti Militari Silver Cross medal. His father, mother, and sister escaped from Poland to South Africa and emigrated to the United States in 1946.

    Physical Details

    Military Insignia
    Object Type
    Badges (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Small, silver colored, pressed metal badge shaped like a crowned Polish eagle with outstretched wings and textured, detailed feathers, facing left. It grips an Amazon shield, a shield with 2 circular corners containing flowers and a curved bottom with 17 raised dots in the border, and a raised shield in the center. Soldered to the back is a screw with an attached brass colored metal fastener.
    overall: Height: 1.625 inches (4.128 cm) | Width: 1.125 inches (2.858 cm) | Depth: 0.500 inches (1.27 cm)
    overall : metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by Mark and Paul Weinberg, the nephews of Michal Goldin.
    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:
    2023-08-31 15:20:14
    This page:

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