Facsimiles of notebooks containing the Liss Diary, 1918-1919. The Liss Diary was handwritten in Yiddish in thirteen emp Facsimiles of notebooks containing the Liss Diary, 1918-1919. The Liss Diary was handwritten in Yiddish in thirteen empire Exercise Books. They are currently housed in the Haganah Archive in Tel Aviv after having been exhibited in the Jewish Legion Museum in Netanya, Israel. On loan from Victoria Liss Herzberg and Shelly Liss, M.D.
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Ellen Trachtenberg, who is curating the new exhibit “We Fought Too – Jewish Soldiers in America’s Wars,” holds a United War Work campaign poster from 1918, one of the more than 90 artifacts that will be featured in the exhibit.
For centuries, there have been perceptions by Americans that Jews were unwilling or unable to serve in the American military.
This view was so widespread that noted authors, particularly Mark Twain, in his 1899 article, “Concerning the Jews,” criticized the American Jews for their lack of patriotism and willingness to serve. The antisemitism of Twain and others blinded them to the truth. Although Twain later recanted his error and commended Jewish service in his 1904 “The American Jew as Soldier,” Jews today must still defend themselves against the charges that Jews have not served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Since 1655 when the Jewish settlers of New Amsterdam petitioned the governor to be allowed to be part of the defense force of that city, thousands of Jews have died in combat for their country and thousands more have been wounded. Thousands of Jews have been awarded combat medals for performing their duty in time of war.
The exhibit, “We Fought, Too – Jewish Soldiers in America’s Wars” highlights Jewish soldiers in the Civil War, the Jewish Legion of World War I, World War I, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and tells some of those stories.
The exhibit is curated by Ellen Trachtenberg and presented as a companion exhibit to the Holocaust Museum Houston exhibit “Ours to Fight For.”
This exhibit is generously underwritten by Ellen and Dan Trachtenberg and presented with special thanks to Gregg and Michelle Philipson; Victoria Liss Herzberg; Shelly Liss, M.D.; Libby Marvins; Myra Lipper; the Jewish Herald-Voice, Ruth Morris; Susan Myers and the staff at Holocaust Museum Houston.
Viewing hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.