Officer's garrison cap worn by a US soldier and Jewish German emigre

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Olive drab garrison cap with black and gold piping worn by Rudolph Sichel, a Jewish refugee from Frankfurt, Germany, who served as an officer 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, Rudolph went to the United States. His parents, Ernst and Frieda, joined him in 1940. In April 1943, Rudolph enlisted in the army and was sent to Camp Ritchie for military intelligence training in interrogation techniques. In July 1944, Rudolph, 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, Rudolph 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: Officer's garrison cap worn by a US soldier and Jewish German emigre
  • Provenance: The garrison cap 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--Germany--Weimar (Thuringia)--Personal narratives, American. World War, 1939-1945--Military intelligence--United States--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.
  • Type: Dress Accessories
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Rectangular, foldable, olive drab heavyweight elastique wool cap with a curved top trimmed with black and gold piping. The interior is lined with brown satiny cloth with a brown leather headband stitched around the edge and stitched together at the end. There are 2 small pin holes on the front, right side and the headband is stained from use.