Pressed tin cap badge of a Reichsadler acquired by a US soldier

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

German cap badge of a Reichsadler, an Imperial eagle holding a swastika, acquired by 19 year old David C. Porter during his service as a soldier in the US Army in Germany from February 1945 to July 1946. David was deployed in February 1945 to join troops of the 102nd Infantry Division in combat in Germany. By the end of the war in May, David was a mortar crew chief for Company A, 26th Infantry Regiment. David and other members of the 102nd were selected to serve as guards for the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Its purpose was to seek justice for crimes against humanity, evidenced by the Holocaust, perpetrated by Nazi Germany. David was assigned to guard prisoners being prosecuted during the Trial of Major German War Criminals for crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit these crimes. David was promoted to Sergeant in September. He guarded the defendants in their cells and then was assigned to stand guard in the courtroom during the proceedings. David returned to the US and was honorably discharged in July 1946. The trial lasted from November 1945 to August 1946. Verdicts were delivered on October 1, 1946: twelve defendants were sentenced to death; three to life imprisonment; four to prison terms ranging from 10-20 years; three were acquitted.

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  • Title: Pressed tin cap badge of a Reichsadler acquired by a US soldier
  • Provenance: The cap badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2011 by Ethel P. Kemmerer, the sister of David C. Porter and executor of his Estate.
  • Subject Keywords: Nuremberg Trial of Major German War Criminals, Nuremberg, Germany, 1945-1946. Soldiers--United States--Biography. War crime trials--Europe--History--20th century. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.
  • Type: Military Insignia
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Gray, pressed tin cap badge in the shape of a Reichsadler, a dexter, spread winged eagle grasping in its talons an oak leaved wreath with a swastika at its center. A bent, gold-colored fastening pin is soldered on the back of each wing.