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Jewish War Veterans


KevinBeyer

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Thank you, Mr. Borgmann. Those are stunning examples of attributed Jewish War Veterans medals.

 

Do you know the significance of the yellow colored rank strap?

 

Kevin

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Fred Borgmann
Thank you, Mr. Borgmann. Those are stunning examples of attributed Jewish War Veterans medals.

 

Do you know the significance of the yellow colored rank strap?

 

Kevin

I can only guess that the rank insignia on this badge would be part of that veterans group's internal system similar to the one used by the United Spanish War Veterans group and has no relation to the man's actual military rank while he was on active duty.

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Fred Borgmann
I can only guess that the rank insignia on this badge would be part of that veterans group's internal system similar to the one used by the United Spanish War Veterans group and has no relation to the man's actual military rank while he was on active duty.

 

I should add that JWV of the U S is a very active group with a long interesting history and a very well done web site http://www.jwv.org/ which is well worth a visit. Fred

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Friends,

 

Thank you very much for your additional information and images from your collections. I am very grateful because you opened my eyes very widely for mental and cultural difference between WWII-era European Jewish soldiers and their American countrymen. I am heavily surprised what I can see over here.

 

The topic became fascinating for me thanks to you though I do not understand totally general idea of creation such badges. It looks like the Jews were segregated during WWII in the US armed forces and now they feel they must emphasize their war effort but they were not segregated as far as I know. On the contrary -- if I am not mistaken they were highly appreciated at least for their multi-language skills for example in the OSS.

 

When I see the badge with inscription "West Point Jewish Chapel" then I am totally unable to imagine in Poland or other European country similar badge with inscription, for instance, "National Defense Academy Catholic Chapel" or other badge with the Roman Catholic symbology and inscription "Commander". Fortunately thanks to Lee I know now that such badges are not allowed to wear them on military uniforms. As I think the US armed forces have always wanted to be neutral when it comes to religious symbology.

 

Thanks to you I can see that Kevin's pin is not a kind of one-season ephéméride but this is the system. Frankly speaking when I saw Kevin's pin in the first post I was heavily surprised and thought something like "Good God, who designed it and what for? To manifest what and in front of whom? The pin looks like designed to wear at left upper pocket -- in the same place where Nazi system forced millions of European Jews to wear the Star of David as a symbol of their humiliation. Do the American Jews want to solidarize with the victims of Holocaust by wearing such pins?". Etc., etc.

 

I am normal man, I like and admire WWII-era Jewish soldiers because in frontline units they risked their lives a hundred times much more than Allied Catholic troops and when captured and taken POW Jews' life was counted in minutes. That is why I do not need "well-marked" Jewish WWII soldier today to tell him that I am full of respect for him. I do not understand something in these American pins but it must be my problem. I am afraid one more thing – I can imagine how react various anti-Semitic extremists seeing these pins. That is why I am not sure if it is good idea but of course nobody is forced to agree with me and I am open for your information about sources of this idea. When it was born and what for?

 

Today at Warsaw lives Dr Marek Edelman, the last surviving commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. No greatest WWII-era Jewish hero in the world. In 1943, in the heart of Nazi-occupied Europe he fought in the streets of Warsaw, at the distances of several yards, against anti-Semitic criminals of Waffen-SS. He fought in hopeless situation and fought not for victory, that was impossible, but for nothing, or if you want for the human dignity. His orders, medals, decorations may be counted in hundreds. He is a Knight of the Order of White Eagle -- the highest order of the Republic of Poland, the same as the US Presidents Thomas Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan received from the Polish Presidents. Today Dr Marek Edelman does not wear at his pocket a pin of "Commander" though he is real commander of the most unique and famous Jewish fight.

 

Believe, or not, but Dr Marek Edelman wears nothing, absolutely nothing of his decorations. He does not wear even one the smallest ribbon, never. The same goes for the Jewish tanker I mentioned in my first post. I admire this man because what he did in Normandy was almost crazy. He served in armoured reconnaissance regiment, I would say "at the tip of the tip" of armoured division. They permanently have in front of them fanatically anti-Semitic Waffen-SS tankers or panzergrenadiers. Many times they were several hundred yards from them. He listened their radio messages and thanks to his languages knowledge he cooperated with Canadian intelligence. If captured and taken POW he would be murdered at once or after heavy tortures if the Germans would discover that he is from reconnaissance unit supporting Allied intelligence. Today he also does not manifest his WWII "veteranism" with the Star of David though he is real hero awarded for his courage.

 

I am not sure what is the place where for instance American Jewish women could become war veterans (intelligence? auxiliary services? plants?) to emphasize this fact in post-war American public life if the Jewish men heavily fighting directly, face to face, against fanatic anti-Semitic Germans do not emphasize these facts by the pins, badges or other decorations?

 

One more time thank you very much for extremely interesting topic and your participation.

 

Best regards

 

Greg

Greg, Jews in the US military were not segregated in ww2, nor were they segregated at any other time to my knowledge. They served alongside everyone else in every aspect of the US armed forces. I used to have a WW2 Lieutenant Jewish Chaplains uniform who served in the 1st Cavalry and 6th Army in the Pacific.

BTW, I have met ww2 fighter pilot and POW Major Moses Kaufman who flew P47's and went down in France. He was sent to the Stalag and was treated essentially the same as every other officer by the Germans.

 

CB

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I have met ww2 fighter pilot and POW Major Moses Kaufman who flew P47's and went down in France. He was sent to the Stalag and was treated essentially the same as every other officer by the Germans.

Hello,

 

Maybe it was a kind of "international solidarity" between the men of aviation? Many times Luftwaffe tried to be for their POWs a little better than Gestapo or SS. To some extent it is shown in famous "The Great Escape" movie when Poland-based Stalag VIII C at Żagań can be seen.

 

Best regards

 

Greg

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  • 4 weeks later...

WS60,

 

Was very impressed by your presentation of Jewish War Veterans badges. Noticed you had several of the upward wing variety. Their later issues had downward wings (like the back side of the Washington quarter dollar coin). Have a xerox copy of the JWV magazine from 1981 where they show all the Jewish vet societies that preceeded the current group. They only show the current issue (downward wings) badge. Assume they used the upward wing variety early in their history. Only found one of this style badge, but unlike your versions with the suspension bar, this badge has a suspension ring. Do you have any information on this earlier badge? And in what year did they change the eagle design?

 

Top Left: Current issue with downward wing and suspension bar. Reverse marked at 6 o'clock with ALAN SHIMAN NEWARK in two lines.

 

Top Right: Upward wing variety with suspension ring. No mfg marks on reverse.

 

Middle Left: Gold and enamels Officers Presentation badge. Top bar broked off. Reverse marked 1/20GF only. No mfg mark.

 

Bottom Left: Plain bronze and enameled miniature badges.

 

Bottom Right: Typical current style Commanders Badge. Reverse marked ALAN SHIMAN NEWARK.

 

Frederick

post-1633-1201470598.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Hi all,

 

Ressurecting this thread, as I just inherited my father's Jewish War Veterans of the US lapel pin (circa WWII). This one seems slightly different from the ones I have seen, in the sense that it has light blue enamel rather than dark blue.

 

I have a picture but it is too bright and the blue is washed out entirely, so I will try and re-photograph tonight and post a picture tomorrow. It was in the same box with a 'Free Sons of Israel' lapel pin, which I gather was not military related.

 

Anyone ever see one of these with light blue enamel before?

 

-Daniel

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Cobrahistorian

Interesting thread guys! The JWV actually has a small museum here in DC, the National Museum of American Jewish Military History. I was VERY impressed with their Medal of Honor gallery. They have four of the 13 Medals awarded to Jewish servicemen on display. Three of those were National Guard guys, so I'm even more impressed!

 

The remainder of the museum is a bit of a letdown, however. My lasting impression is the depth to which the holocaust has scarred our collective consciousness. 90% of the exhibits focus on WWII, and a good section of that focuses on Jewish GIs that liberated concentration camps. There is an entire exhibit called "A Mother's Grief", which deals with the death of a 2nd Division soldier in Normandy and his family's reaction. Interesting approach and something I hadn't seen before. Very little attention was paid to WWI, or prior conflicts and Korea and later only received cursory attention.

 

Jon

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Daniel,

 

Two very neat pins from your father. I don' t know of any military connection to the free Sons of Israel to the military but the Jewish War Veterans pin has what appears to be a similar light blue background to the one shown in post 11. These things often change a little bit over time and/or maker it seems. I don't know if the enamel color has any significance but it is certainly possible. Is this a pin for WWII service instead of WWI? What branch of service was he in?

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Daniel,

 

Two very neat pins from your father. I don' t know of any military connection to the free Sons of Israel to the military but the Jewish War Veterans pin has what appears to be a similar light blue background to the one shown in post 11. These things often change a little bit over time and/or maker it seems. I don't know if the enamel color has any significance but it is certainly possible. Is this a pin for WWII service instead of WWI? What branch of service was he in?

Hi Sarge,

 

He was a Sergeant in the US Army, 114th Field Artillery, from 1943-1945. It is a WWII-era pin. I agree that they are likely not connected except I believe they both date from around the same time. I also got the blue star service pin his mother wore while he was overseas; I will put a pic up of that soon.

 

-Daniel

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  • 2 months later...
It looks like the Jews were segregated during WWII in the US armed forces and now they feel they must emphasize their war effort but they were not segregated as far as I know.

 

Look. The Christians weren't segregated, were they? They have the CWV. Disabled veterans weren't always disabled. The fact of the matter is, Jewish war veterans are a minority. So, I think it is appropriate they get some form of individual recognition. My grandfather was a post commander. I think that line was a bit hastily and sloppily done, no offense.

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CIG,

 

I think that CB explained any misunderstanding well in post 29 above.

 

"Greg, Jews in the US military were not segregated in ww2, nor were they segregated at any other time to my knowledge. They served alongside everyone else in every aspect of the US armed forces. I used to have a WW2 Lieutenant Jewish Chaplains uniform who served in the 1st Cavalry and 6th Army in the Pacific.

BTW, I have met ww2 fighter pilot and POW Major Moses Kaufman who flew P47's and went down in France. He was sent to the Stalag and was treated essentially the same as every other officer by the Germans.

 

CB"

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Cobrahistorian
CIG,

 

I think that CB explained any misunderstanding well in post 29 above.

 

"Greg, Jews in the US military were not segregated in ww2, nor were they segregated at any other time to my knowledge. They served alongside everyone else in every aspect of the US armed forces. I used to have a WW2 Lieutenant Jewish Chaplains uniform who served in the 1st Cavalry and 6th Army in the Pacific.

BTW, I have met ww2 fighter pilot and POW Major Moses Kaufman who flew P47's and went down in France. He was sent to the Stalag and was treated essentially the same as every other officer by the Germans.

 

CB"

 

My uncle George was captured in the Huertgen in October of 44 and sent to Stalag 7A. He survived the war, and from what I know was treated pretty much the same as other POWs. Fortunately, he was not one of the Berga prisoners. That's yet another atrocity.

 

Jon

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  • 1 year later...
  • 5 years later...

Here's a membership medal for the Jewish Veterans of the Wars of the Republic, which was a predecessor organization to the JWV. It only had this name from 1923 to 1929, at which time it became the JWV.

post-10651-0-55220700-1447343037.jpg

post-10651-0-06965300-1447343151.jpg

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Close up of the obverse. This medal came with a named USMC sharpshooter badge from 1911 (reverse shown) so it's part of an attributed grouping.

post-10651-0-17272600-1447343224.jpg

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Great medal Adam, Isaac Massien Served Sept 1911 until Sept 1915. He was awarded GCM # 5403 also, did you get that with the grouping also?

 

He was also on the USS Hancock in April of 1914 and then Vera Cruz in May.

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Great medal Adam, Isaac Massien Served Sept 1911 until Sept 1915. He was awarded GCM # 5403 also, did you get that with the grouping also?

 

He was also on the USS Hancock in April of 1914 and then Vera Cruz in May.

 

Thanks for the info. I got the these two medals on eBay from the same seller with a "Buy It Now". Unfortunately I missed his USMC Mexican Service Medal by mere seconds. It also sold on a BIN for $50! The same seller never listed a GCM for sale.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello, everyone,

 

I have found an example of what I believe to be a modern version of the Jewish War Veterans Past Commander badge. The downward swept wings of the eagle, the red background, and the overall condition suggest to me that it is a contemporary version.

 

On the reverse it is marked 1/20-10K G.F. This, too, suggests that it is recent as earlier version had a much higher gold content.

 

JWL_PastPresident_1000.jpg

 

Kevin

 

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  • 4 years later...
KevinBeyer

I recently picked up this early Jewish War Veterans officer badge. (Note the upward facing wings.) I don't know the significance of the stars, or the purple enameled background.  It's original ribbon was tattered to the point of useless, so I obtained a 6" piece of replacement ribbon from the Orders and Medals Society of America's Ribbon Bank.  These badges are a challenge to re-ribbon based upon the small aperture used the pass the ribbon through the top of the pendant.  It also makes it difficult to get the ribbon perfectly straight up and down.  Still I am happy with my effort. 

 

JWV_OfficerBadge_750.jpg

 

The reverse is blank.

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Relevant tangent. I posted the following in book reviews during August 2020. For collectors of this variety of artifact, it may be useful:

"The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen"
By: Simon Wolf
1895
The Levytype Company, publishers
576 pages

I had read of the existence of this book in other ones having to do with Jews serving during the Civil War, but never imagined I'd ever see, or own, a copy.

Essentially, the great majority of the book consists of alphabetical listings, muster rolls in effect, of Jews who have served in uniform with and for America, by first and last name, rank, company and regiment from the Continental Army, Regular Army and Navy, War of 1812, Mexican War, Union and Confederate Army and Navy, and some in the Armies of Europe up through the late 19th century.

Also included are a number of narrative letters, orders, articles and essays relevant to the topic and periods.

Extraordinary and rare to find in most private libraries. This copy had been held by the University of Southern California until deaccessioned."

Might come in handy for authentication.
 

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