In early 1942, Paul Rosenblatt, a young Jewish man from New York, was working in the US Army engineering unit for aircraft production and repair. Although he was considered an essential worker, Rosenblatt insisted on enlisting as a combat soldier, out of a desire to fight the Nazis head-on. After basic training, he passed a tank repair course, and was attached to the 9th Armored Division of the US Forces .
In 1944, the division landed in Normandy, and within six days they had crossed France and stationed themselves on the "Siegfried Line." In December 1944, Rosenblatt fought in the Battle of the Bulge. In March 1945, his division became famous for capturing the Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen – one of the Allied Forces’ first conquests within Germany on the way to Germany's ultimate defeat.
Before Germany’s surrender, the division was sent to join Red Army forces near the city of Carlsbad in Czechoslovakia. In May 1945, they returned to Germany, where they were put in charge of German ammunition storehouses in Marktredwitz, Bavaria. Paul and his fellow soldiers helped themselves to souvenirs that served as symbols of the Allied defeat of Germany, including Nazi insignias, military equipment and a rifle.
Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection
Donated by Paul Rosenblatt, Haifa, Israel