Nazi Propaganda in the Hands of American Jewish Soldiers

Nazis were masters of propaganda. Much of it was designed to enforce their anti-Jewish ideology. The ideas expressed in the propaganda materials were appalling and frightening when spread by the Third Reich. However, the significance and meaning of these materials changed when acquired by new hands, specifcally by Jewish hands. This folding leaflet disguised as an Read more about Nazi Propaganda in the Hands of American Jewish Soldiers[…]

Major David Salisbury Franks and the Founding Fathers in the American Revolution

David Salisbury Franks had perhaps the most fascinating career of any Jewish American who fought in the American Revolution. Franks was an associate of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and most significantly, Benedict Arnold. Franks had a close association with the most notorious traitor in American history. This caused a serious blow to his Read more about Major David Salisbury Franks and the Founding Fathers in the American Revolution[…]

Rosh Hashanah in Charleroi, Belgium, 1944

For Jewish service members at war, High Holiday services provided a respite from war. The familiar ceremonies offered a refuge and the connection with the Jewish community in the military a needed boost to morale. These were often powerful experiences. This was especially true during World War II when these service includes the European Jewish civilians who had Read more about Rosh Hashanah in Charleroi, Belgium, 1944[…]

Friendship stronger than bullets and bombs: the message of Cpl Roger Briskin

The Purple Heart medal awarded posthumously to Corporal Roger Briskin is on display in the core exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History. Briskin died as a member of the 3rd Marine Division on March 31, 1967 in Quảng Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam. He was leading his squad on an operation near Read more about Friendship stronger than bullets and bombs: the message of Cpl Roger Briskin[…]

The Brooklyn Cowboy: American Jews on Horseback in WWII

The worn Model 1940 riding boots of Private Harold Ehrenpreis evoke an Army man who’s spent countless hours on a horse. Most people associate combat on horseback with an earlier time, but when Harold Ehrenpreis was issued these boots in 1941, the horse cavalry was still an active part of the U.S. Army. Mounted cavalrymen Read more about The Brooklyn Cowboy: American Jews on Horseback in WWII[…]

Three Fascinating World War II Haggadot

Like other religious publications, Haggadot for American Jews in the Armed Forces were often produced by the Jewish Welfare Board. This began in World War I when approximately 225,00 American Jews served in the war. Haggadot were also produced for Jews in the German and British armies. The books in the museum’s collection aren’t as visually Read more about Three Fascinating World War II Haggadot[…]

Guard of Israel – Bencin Riseman and Family in the First World War

Russian-immigrant Bencin Riseman joined the Massachusetts National Guard and served on the Mexican Border in 1916. When that conflict ended, Riseman returned home to Boston, where he had worked for the city as a constable. The Great War was raging in Europe and Riseman anticipated the need for a growing military in the U.S. He began recruiting men Read more about Guard of Israel – Bencin Riseman and Family in the First World War[…]

Jerome Steigmann’s Dog Tags

The “H” on the front of PFC Jerome Steigmann’s Marine Corps dog tags labeled him as a Jew. The Magen David with the Hebrew word “Zion” on the back identified him as a Zionist.  The star was designed as a pendant for a chain, but Steigmann affixed it to the back of his dog tag Read more about Jerome Steigmann’s Dog Tags[…]