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2nd Polish Corps Syrenka patch with the Warsaw Mermaid worn by a Jewish medical officer, 2nd Polish Corps

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

2nd Polish Corps red patch with the Warsaw Mermaid, Syrenka, the city coat of arms, worn by by Dr. Salomon Slowes, who was a medical officer in the Polish Army and then the 2nd Polish Corps, circa 1939-1945. The patch was approved for use by the Polish Army of the East in December 1942, around the time Anders Army became the 2nd Polish Corps, British Army. The patch was re-approved for use in Italy in March 1944. It was worn on the left sleeve. Slowes was called up shortly before Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Three weeks later, the Soviet Union invaded. Slowes was captured by the Soviets and interned in Kozel'sk, Pavlishchev Bor, and Gryazovets prisoner of war labor camps. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Slowes was released as part of an amnesty granted to Polish prisoners to aid the Soviet war effort. He joined the Polish Army of the East, known as Anders Army, a volunteer military unit. Slowes, who was an oral and facial surgeon, set up clinics in every place the Army made camp. In August 1942, the unit left Soviet territory and became the 2nd Polish Corps, British Army. In February 1944, his unit deployed from North Africa to join the British 8th Army in the Italian Campaign. The Corps fought its way north and was honored for heroism in the May 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino. The Corps was in Italy on May 7, 1945, when the war ended. Slowes was awarded several medals by the British and Polish governments for his service. He settled in Palestine after the war.Slowes was awarded several medals by the British and Polish governments for his service. He settled in Palestine after the war.

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Details

  • Title: 2nd Polish Corps Syrenka patch with the Warsaw Mermaid worn by a Jewish medical officer, 2nd Polish Corps
  • Location: Poland--Armed Forces--History--World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives.
  • Provenance: The badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2002 by Salomon Slowes.
  • Subject Keywords: Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Personal narratives. Jewish physicians--Poland--Biography. Jewish soldiers--Great Britain--Biography. Jewish soldiers--Poland--Biography. Military, Medicine--Poland--Biography. Prisoners of war--Soviet Union--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Polish.
  • Type: Identifying Artifacts
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Shield shaped, dark blue wool patch with a mermaid embroidered in the center in blackened bullion thread, with traces of gold. Her tails curls right, and she has a sword in her raised left hand and a shield in her right. A string of beaded metal thread is handstitched around the border.

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