Model German Stuka airplane made by a liberated concentration camp inmate and given to a US military aid worker

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Model German Stuka bomber presented to Lt. Milton Shurr, a Jewish American soldier, made by a former prisoner at the recently liberated Buchenwald concentration camp. He was told that the models were made for the SS camp officers. First Lt. Shurr, Civil Affairs Unit, assisted in planning for D-Day, June 6, 1944. He landed on Omaha Beach soon after the invasion to organize supplies, then was placed with the 1st Army Displaced Persons Team. On April 11, 1945, the US Third Army liberated Buchenwald. Command of the camp was transferred to the 1st Army, which was responsible for establishing order, improving camp conditions, and caring for the inmates. Shurr worked 16 hour days trying to find food for 15,000 starving survivors. He later was sent to Bavaria as a health welfare officer to assist with the re-establishment of schools, hospitals, and other social services by the US Military occupation government. In 1949, he declined a permanent position and returned to the US.

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  • Title: Model German Stuka airplane made by a liberated concentration camp inmate and given to a US military aid worker
  • Provenance: The model airplane was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1988 by Milton Shurr.
  • Subject Keywords: Concentration camp inmates as artists--Germany--Weimar (Thuringia) Ex-concentration camp inmates--Germany--Weimar (Thuringia)--Biography. Jewish soldiers--United States--Biography. Reconstruction (1939-1951)--Germany--Personal narratives, American. Soldiers--United States--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation--Germany--Weimar (Thuringia)--Personal narratives, American. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.
  • Type: Toys
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Handcrafted, shiny, silver aluminum model airplane with an angular body and a flat, circular nose cone with a threaded center hole and a curved, rectangular bottom extension. The body widens into a rectangle with a peaked flat top and angled panels, to suggest a cockpit. The rectangular wings, curved on top and flat below, slant down from the plane's underside then level off and taper out to flat, rounded ends. Attached under the wings are teardrop shaped wheel housings with fixed wheels. A diagonal support rod runs through the wheel housing into a small hole in the bottom of the body; behind the rod holes is another small threaded hole. Behind the wings, the body narrows and slants down, then widens and arches up into a flattened, vertical, rectangular tail fin. A small, rectangular, perpendicular tail flap is fitted through a slot at the base of the fin. There is a small, third wheel below the tail flap. It been made originally had a base or made to attach to a base.