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Magnifying lens for a camera used by a Jewish German emigre and US soldier 2003.149.44 front

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

Magnifying lens for a camera enclosed in a folding case owned by 30 year old Rudolph Sichel, a Jewish refugee from Frankfurt, Germany, who served as an officer in the US Army in Europe during World War II. In May 1936, unable to return to Germany from England because of anti-Jewish regulations, Sichel went to the United States. His parents, Ernst and Frieda, joined him in 1940. In April 1943, Sichel enlisted in the army and was sent to Camp Ritchie for military intelligence training in interrogation techniques. In July 1944, Sichel, now Chief Interrogator, Interrogation of Prisoners of War Team 13, landed on Utah Beach in France, where his unit was attached to the 104th Infantry, the Timberwolf Division. As the unit advanced through France, Belgium, and into Germany, Sichel interrogated those captured. On April 11, 1945, the unit liberated Dora-Mittelbau/Nordhausen concentration camp and Rudolph witnessed the horrific conditions. A skilled photographer, he took snapshots of the camp and other events of his military tour. Following Germany’s surrender in May, 2nd Lt. Sichel was attached to the 9th Army. He interrogated prisoners of war and civilian witnesses, and participated in fact finding missions to document and prepare evidence for war crimes trials. In June 1946, 1st Lt. Sichel returned to the US. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service.

Magnifying lens for a camera enclosed in a folding case owned by 30 year old Rudolph Sichel, a Jewish refugee from Frankfurt, Germany, who served as an officer in the US Army in Europe during World War II. In May 1936, unable to return to Germany from England because of anti-Jewish regulations, Sichel went to the United States. His parents, Ernst and Frieda, joined him in 1940. In April 1943, Sichel enlisted in the army and was sent to Camp Ritchie for military intelligence training in interrogation techniques. In July 1944, Sichel, now Chief Interrogator, Interrogation of Prisoners of War Team 13, landed on Utah Beach in France, where his unit was attached to the 104th Infantry, the Timberwolf Division. As the unit advanced through France, Belgium, and into Germany, Sichel interrogated those captured. On April 11, 1945, the unit liberated Dora-Mittelbau/Nordhausen concentration camp and Rudolph witnessed the horrific conditions. A skilled photographer, he took snapshots of the camp and other events of his military tour. Following Germany’s surrender in May, 2nd Lt. Sichel was attached to the 9th Army. He interrogated prisoners of war and civilian witnesses, and participated in fact finding missions to document and prepare evidence for war crimes trials. In June 1946, 1st Lt. Sichel returned to the US. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service.

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  • Title: Magnifying lens for a camera used by a Jewish German emigre and US soldier 2003.149.44 front
  • Provenance: The lens was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Howard S. Sichel and Linda Strohmenger, the children of Rudolph Daniel Sichel., The lens was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Howard S. Sichel and Linda Strohmenger, the children of Rudolph Daniel Sichel.
  • Subject Keywords: German American soldiers--United States--Biography. Jewish refugees--United States--Biography. Jewish soldiers--United States--Biography. Soldiers--United States--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Military intelligence--United States--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American., German American soldiers--United States--Biography. Jewish refugees--United States--Biography. Jewish soldiers--United States--Biography. Soldiers--United States--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Military intelligence--United States--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.
  • Type: Audiovisual and Photographic Materials, Audiovisual and Photographic Materials
  • Rights: Permanent Collection, Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Rectangular, black textured plastic bi-fold wallet with a snap closure tab enclosing a clear, circular convex glass magnifying lens in a narrow, black metal ring mounted in a thin, black metal panel with a round top. When opened, the lens panel springs up from a continuous hinge shared with a flat, metal panel glued to the right side of the wallet. The left side is lined with light brown leather and has a vertical, black leather accordion pocket at the end., Rectangular, black textured plastic bi-fold wallet with a snap closure tab enclosing a clear, circular convex glass magnifying lens in a narrow, black metal ring mounted in a thin, black metal panel with a round top. When opened, the lens panel springs up from a continuous hinge shared with a flat, metal panel glued to the right side of the wallet. The left side is lined with light brown leather and has a vertical, black leather accordion pocket at the end.

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