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Novoris leather band wrist watch worn by a German Jewish emigre and US soldier

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Swiss made Novoris wrist watch with a black leather band owned by Rudolph Sichel, a Jewish refugee from Frankfurt, Germany, who served in the US Army in Europe from July 1944 to June 1946. 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: Novoris leather band wrist watch worn by a German Jewish emigre and US soldier
  • Provenance: The wrist watch was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Howard 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.
  • Type: Personal Equipment and Supplies
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Well used wristwatch with a circular, flat, glass cover set into the face of a circular, silver metal case. The face has a silver colored dial with 2 blue metal hands with white insets, an outer ring of black painted lines to indicate minutes, and an inner ring of black painted Arabic numerals to indicate hours. Above the 6 is a subdial with a single blue metal hand and black painted marks and numbers to indicate seconds. The case has a flat, ridged crown on the right and 2 protruding lugs at the top and bottom to attach 2 textured, black leather bands. The upper band has 5 punched holes and the lower band has a leather loop, buckle, and tine. There is manufacturing information on the dial.

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