Stainless steel linked band wrist watch owned by aGerman Jewish emigre and US soldier

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Stainless steel wrist watch with an expandable metal band 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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  • Title: Stainless steel linked band wrist watch owned by aGerman Jewish emigre and US soldier
  • Provenance: The wrist 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.
  • Type: Personal Equipment and Supplies
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Adjustable, chain link wristwatch with a beveled, hexagonal, stainless steel case and a domed, tinted yellow glass cover. The black painted dial has 2 blue metal hands, an outer ring of white painted lines for minutes, and an inner ring of yellow painted, raised Arabic numerals for hours. In place of the 6 is a subdial with a single hand and white painted marks for seconds. The case sides have engraved rectangular spirals, with a small hole on the right. There are 2 protruding lugs at the top and bottom of the case to attach the adjustable, silver colored metal band of cylinders, with decorative engraving, joined by rectangular links. The lower end is looped through a curved bracket on the upper strap. It is held in place by a wide clasp that fastens over any 2 links. There is manufacturing information on the case back.