Loading

Reusable embossed cigarette lighter used by a Jewish German emigre and US soldier 2003.149.69 open

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Reusable embossed metal cigarette lighter with a French tax seal likely acquired in France by Rudolph Sichel, a Jewish refugee from Frankfurt, Germany, who served in the US Army in Europe from July 1944 to June 1946. The French Finance Ministry required that all lighters produced and sold in France between 1911 and 1945 carry an engraved tax seal. The seal on this lighter was used between 1927 and 1945. In May 1936, unable to return to Germany from England, Sichel went to the US. In April 1943, he enlisted in the army and was sent to Camp Ritchie for military intelligence training. 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.

Reusable embossed metal cigarette lighter with a French tax seal likely acquired in France by Rudolph Sichel, a Jewish refugee from Frankfurt, Germany, who served in the US Army in Europe from July 1944 to June 1946. The French Finance Ministry required that all lighters produced and sold in France between 1911 and 1945 carry an engraved tax seal. The seal on this lighter was used between 1927 and 1945. In May 1936, unable to return to Germany from England, Sichel went to the US. In April 1943, he enlisted in the army and was sent to Camp Ritchie for military intelligence training. 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.

Show lessRead more

Details

  • Title: Reusable embossed cigarette lighter used by a Jewish German emigre and US soldier 2003.149.69 open
  • Provenance: The cigarette lighter was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Howard Sichel and Linda Strohmenger, the children of Rudolph Daniel Sichel., The cigarette lighter 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., 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, Personal Equipment and Supplies
  • Rights: Permanent Collection, Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Rectangular, reusable, brass colored metal cigarette lighter with a removable lid. Both base and lid are engraved with geometric, Art Deco style designs, with a silver embossed panel on the base side. The lighter mechanism is contained within a metal sheath that slides into the decorative lighter base. It has an open bottom and a flat top with a striker wheel and the top of a thick cotton wick packed inside the sheath. A French tax seal and manufacturing information are engraved on the lighter exterior. The mechanism is very fragile., Rectangular, reusable, brass colored metal cigarette lighter with a removable lid. Both base and lid are engraved with geometric, Art Deco style designs, with a silver embossed panel on the base side. The lighter mechanism is contained within a metal sheath that slides into the decorative lighter base. It has an open bottom and a flat top with a striker wheel and the top of a thick cotton wick packed inside the sheath. A French tax seal and manufacturing information are engraved on the lighter exterior. The mechanism is very fragile.

Additional Items

Recommended

Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile