In his book Deliverance Day: Last Hours at Dachau, author Michael Selzer writes that as the American troops approached the Dachau concentration camp, prisoners began to make homemade American flags.

A photo in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum collection shows camp prisoners hoisting an American flag to greet their liberators.

And from our own collection, shown below is a small American flag, of red and blue felt sewn onto rayon. This flag was made by women liberated at Dachau and used at a memorial service conducted there by Chaplain David Max Eichhorn on May 6, 1945. The description of the women presenting the flag to Chaplain Eichhorn is found on page 45 of Eichhorn’s autobiography, where he writes that the women “made [the flag] from their precious store of materials… as priceless ‘souvenirs’ of this never-to-be-forgotten occasion.” Rabbi Eichhorn (1906-1986) served as a chaplain in Europe, 1944-1945.

American flag made by prisoners at Dachau. Gift of Rabbi David Max Einhorn. Yaffa Eliach Collection donated by the Center for Holocaust Studies.