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Yellow Star of David badge with a letter J. found by an American soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2014.308.2

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    Brief Narrative
    Belgian Star of David badge acquired by Carl Ebert, a Jewish American World War II soldier while he was serving as a teletype maintenance technician in Europe from March 1944 - October 1945. The German authorities required the badge to be worn by all Jews over six in order to humiliate them and make them easier to identify and separate from the general population. The badges were used in Nazi occupied Belgium from spring 1942 until liberation in September 1944. Carl, a jeweler whose family emigrated from Austria-Hungary to New York in 1920, enlisted in the army in 1942. In early 1944, Carl’s unit, Company B, 3111th Signal Corps, shipped out from Monmouth, New Jersey to England. As part of the Signal Corps, Carl coordinated and maintained communication between his unit and the rest of the allied forces. Carl’s unit was deployed to France in June, landing on Omaha and Utah beaches a few days after the Normandy invasion. They quickly moved east into northeastern France, Belgium and Germany. Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945. On October 14, Carl was released from the military and returned to the US.
    acquired:  approximately 1944 June-1945 October
    found: Belgium
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of David Ebert
    front, center, black dye : J.
    Subject: Carl Ebert
    Kalman (later Carl) Ebert was born on February 14, 1907 in Bolszowce, Austria-Hungary, (now Bilshivtsi, Ukraine) to a Jewish couple, Samuel and Reizie (later Jennie) Teichberg Ebert. His father was born in 1884 and his mother in 1885, in Austria Hungary. He had three brothers, David (1909-1982), Lieb (later Louis b. 1910) and Saul Siegel (b. 1916) and one sister, Beulah (b. 1926). In 1907 Reizie immigrated to the United States and Samuel followed in 1911. On October 27, 1920, Kalman, David and Lieb sailed out of Antwerp, Belgium, and arrived in New York on November 7. They reunited with their parents and Kalman and Lieb Americanized their names to Carl and Louis.

    Carl lived with his family in Brooklyn and worked as a Jeweler. On April 13, 1927 Carl petitioned to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. During this time he married and divorced. On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The following day the United States declared war on Japan, and on December 11, Germany declared war on the US. On July 29, 1942, Carl enlisted in the US Army and joined the Signal Corps as a private. The Signal Corps were responsible for establishing, coordinating, and supporting rapid communication across air, land and sea for the allied forces, as well as repairing communication infrastructure for the military and civilians and documenting the war effort and Nazi atrocities. Carl was assigned to Company B, 3111th Signal Battalion out of Fort Monmouth New Jersey as a teletype maintenance technician. After boot camp and specialized training, the unit was activated for duty on January 20, 1944.

    In March 1944, the 3111th shipped to England where they continued training throughout the spring. They arrived in Normandy several days after the initial June 6 invasion, landing on Omaha and Utah beaches. From the Normandy beachhead they followed the army to Cherbourg on July 10 where they established a permanent telegraph installation. With the forces of US Army Company B, the 3111th pushed forward to Reims, through Belgium and into Fulda and Frankfort in Germany taking part in the campaigns of Normandy, Ardennes, Northern France and Rhineland. On May 7, 1945, the Germans surrendered to the allies.

    The 3111th was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, for several months to help repair and stabilize the civilian communication infrastructure. Carl was released from the military on October 14. He returned to New York and resumed his occupation as a jeweler. On May 23, 1947, Carl married Anna Stekin (1909-2004), they had two sons. Carl, age 90, died on December 6, 1997, in Palm Beach, Florida.

    Physical Details

    Identifying Artifacts
    Physical Description
    Dark yellow cloth badge in the shape of a six pointed Star of David with an off white cloth backing. On the front of the star two overlapping triangles are outlined in black dye. In the center of the star is a printed J. in a font resembling Hebrew. The front is sewn to the backing with a very fine stitch. The backing has a horizontal slit in the center.
    overall: Height: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm) | Width: 2.875 inches (7.303 cm)
    overall : cloth, ink

    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 2014 by David Ebert, the son of Carl Ebert.
    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:
    2023-08-25 17:41:06
    This page:

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