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Silver pocket watch with geometric etching owned by a Jewish German emigre and US soldier 2003.149.61 front

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Silver pocket watch with Art Deco style etching on the double case back 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.

Silver pocket watch with Art Deco style etching on the double case back 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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Details

  • Title: Silver pocket watch with geometric etching owned by a Jewish German emigre and US soldier 2003.149.61 front
  • Provenance: The pocket watch was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Howard Sichel and Linda Strohmenger, the children of Rudolph Daniel Sichel., The pocket 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., 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: Circular, silver colored metal, open face pocket watch with a domed, clear glass cover set into the beveled face. It has an enameled, offwhite dial with blue metal hands, an outer ring of painted, gold dots to indicate minutes, and an inner ring of black painted lines to indicate hours. In place of the 6 is a subdial with 1 blue metal hand and black, painted marks and numbers to indicate seconds. On top of the case is a T shaped, spiral engraved post with a brass colored, ridged crown that pulls up and turns counter-clockwise. There is a continuous hinge at the bottom back, which connects 2 back covers to the case: an exterior cover with an engraved geometric design and an interior cover with a plain face. A repetitive circle pattern is machine pressed onto the inside of both covers. The watch mechanism is visible when the covers are open., Circular, silver colored metal, open face pocket watch with a domed, clear glass cover set into the beveled face. It has an enameled, offwhite dial with blue metal hands, an outer ring of painted, gold dots to indicate minutes, and an inner ring of black painted lines to indicate hours. In place of the 6 is a subdial with 1 blue metal hand and black, painted marks and numbers to indicate seconds. On top of the case is a T shaped, spiral engraved post with a brass colored, ridged crown that pulls up and turns counter-clockwise. There is a continuous hinge at the bottom back, which connects 2 back covers to the case: an exterior cover with an engraved geometric design and an interior cover with a plain face. A repetitive circle pattern is machine pressed onto the inside of both covers. The watch mechanism is visible when the covers are open.

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