Unused yellow triangle patch with a U for a Hungarian Jewish prisoner found by a US military aid worker

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Unused, yellow triangle badge with a black letter U found by Lt. Milton Shurr, a Jewish American soldier, in April-June 1945 at the recently liberated Buchenwald concentration camp. The yellow cloth would mark the inmate as Jewish. The letter indicated camp status or nationality. The letter U could be for Ungarisch (Hungarian]. Patches were usually applied with the triangle inverted, or point down. However, there were combination badges: 2 overlapped triangles, 1 upright, 1 inverted, formed a Judenstern or Star of David. Or a yellow triangle might be placed over a black triangle to identify a non-Jewish person, usually female, who had sex with a Jew. The patch would be attached on the left breast of the jacket or on the pants leg. First Lt. Shurr assisted in the planning for D-Day, June 6, 1944, and joined the Civil Affairs Unit. He landed on Omaha Beach soon after the invasion to organize medical supplies, then was placed with the 1st Army Displaced Persons Team. On April 11, 1945, the US Third Army liberated Buchenwald. Command of the camp was transferred to the 1st Army, which was responsible for establishing order and caring for the inmates. Shurr worked 16 hour days trying to find enough food for 15,000 starving survivors. He later was sent to Bavaria as a health welfare officer to assist with the re-establishment of schools, hospitals, and other social services by the US Military occupation government. In 1949, he declined a permanent position and returned to the US.

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  • Title: Unused yellow triangle patch with a U for a Hungarian Jewish prisoner found by a US military aid worker
  • Location: World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons, German.
  • Provenance: The prisoner badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1988 by Milton L. Shurr.
  • Subject Keywords: Holocaust survivors--Germany--Weimar (Thuringia)--Biography. Jewish soldiers--United States--Biography. Reconstruction (1939-1951)--Germany--Personal narratives, American. Soldiers--United States--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--Liberation--Germany--Weimar (Thuringia)--Personal narratives, American. World War, 1939-1945--Food supply--United States--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Medical care--United States--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American.
  • Type: Identifying Artifacts
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Unused, lightweight, bright yellow cloth upright triangle patch with a letter U applied in black ink near the base. The U has lost color in spots. All edges are unfinished and frayed.