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World War I Iron Cross 2nd class combatant’s medal with ribbon awarded to a German Jewish soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2014.101.2 a-b

Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz) second class medal and ribbon, awarded to a member of Dorothy Fried Goldmeier’s family, for bravery as a soldier in the German Army during World War I (1914-1918). The Iron Cross was first issued in 1813 and reissued in August 1914, after the start of World War I. It was awarded to servicemen of all ranks, and as many as 5,000,000 second class medals were awarded between 1914 and 1918. Although it was originally a Prussian award, its use continued after German unification. Even after Germany lost World War I, the Iron Cross remained a symbol of military honor and pride. Dorothy’s father, Hans Friedlander (later John Fried, 1898-1980), and his brother, Wilhelm (later Willy Fried, 1895-1991), were raised in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), and served in the German military during World War I. On April 14, 1927, Hans sailed for the United States, and Americanized his name to John Fried. On July 17, 1930, John married Hedwig (Hede) Nakler (1901-1983) in Grantwood, New York. Hede was born in Stettin, Germany, and immigrated to the US with her sister, Erna (1899-1993), in January 1927. Hede and Erna’s brother, Manfred (1897-1917), died following an injury in World War I, and earned a posthumous Iron Cross for his service.

issue:  1914 August 05-1918
received:  after 1914 August 05-before 1918 November 11
manufacture: Germany
Object Type
Medals, German (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Karen Goldmeier Green
Record last modified: 2022-04-28 15:33:10
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