French Jews Say Kaddish for 149 Normandy Soldiers

70 Years Since World War II's D-Day Invasion

getty images

By JTA

Published May 06, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A French Jewish group is helping organize a special commemoration for 149 Jews who died during the U.S. invasion of Normandy 70 years ago.

The commemoration is planned for June 8 — two days after the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the first landing by American troops in France — and will feature a collective Kaddish prayer for 149 Jewish soldiers who died there, the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities said in a statement published Tuesday on its website.

“What would have become of us had the Allied forces not landed on June 6, 1944?” CRIF wrote in the statement. “We are organizing a day that will honor the memory of our brothers who fell in battle.”

Recent research by the U.S. National D-Day Memorial Foundation recorded 2,499 American D-Day fatalities and 1,914 from the other Allied nations. The invasion went on for weeks, exacting heavy casualties on all sides.

Today, 27 war cemeteries hold the remains of over 110,000 who died at Normandy: 77,866 soldiers who fought for Nazi Germany and 9,386 Americans along with 17,769 British, 5,002 Canadian and 650 Poles.

The Kaddish ceremony is planned for the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. Participants of the memorial day advertised by CRIF will receive kosher meals, CRIF wrote.

The CRIF statement included a picture of the Star of David-shaped military headstone of the grave of Technical Sergeant Dave Kramer from Wisconsin, who died on D-Day at the age of 22 when German anti-aircraft guns brought down his plane at Bois de Limors, killing the paratroopers and crew instantly.

The Battle of Normandy was one of the largest amphibious landings in human history. As German counterattacks were thwarted, the Allies poured men and materiel into France through Normandy and later through additional beach heads. With the Red Army advancing from the east, Hitler’s armies were shoved back into Germany until their defeat almost a full year later.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Yeshiva University's lawyer wanted to know why the dozens of former schoolboys now suing over a sexual abuse cover-up didn't sue decades ago. Read the judge's striking response here.
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.