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Prisoner id tag issued to a Polish prisoner of war passing as Ukrainian in a German stalag

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Prisoner identification tag, stamped #10998, issued to Salomon Strauss when he was held as a prisoner of war in Stalag II A in Neubrandenburg, Germany. On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland and Salomon was mobilized into the 19th Infantry Battalion, Polish Army. On September 16, he was captured as a prisoner of war and taken to Stalag II A. Salek feared discovery as a Jew and a Communist and created an identity as a Ukrainian, Tomasz Timofiej Marko. He maintained this identity from September 1939- May 1945 in several POW stalags and concentration/labor camps. Salomon was declared a racially pure Ukrainian and released from Stalag VIII-B in February 1941. He was provided training in metal work and made the leader of groups of Ukrainian laborers in Germany and Austria. He was able to travel and provided many with false identification papers. On May 9, 1945, the Wiener-Neustadt region was liberated by the Soviet Army. Salomon identified himself and was arrested by the Soviets, charged with treason, and sentenced to death. He was released with the aid of a Soviet Jewish officer. His entire family was killed by Ukrainian collaborationists in 1943. After the war, he enlisted in the Polish Army. Salomon changed his name to Strauss-Marko to commemorate his wartime ordeal.

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  • Title: Prisoner id tag issued to a Polish prisoner of war passing as Ukrainian in a German stalag
  • Provenance: The dog tag was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Eva Strauss-Marko, the wife of Salomon Strauss-Marko.
  • Subject Keywords: Jewish soldiers--Poland--Biography. Prisoners of war--Germany--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Jewish. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Polish. World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons, German.
  • Type: Military Insignia
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Rectangular, silver colored, metal identification tag with circular holes punched in 3 corners. The corner points are worn round from use. There is a line of 5 rectangular slots of varying lengths cut horizontally through the center. The prison name and prisoner number and 3 horizontal lines are incised on each side of the slots; one set is inverted. An offwhite string is inserted through the 2 top holes with the frayed ends tied in a knot.

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