It was a chance visit to the grave of Bdr. George Meltz in 2011 at the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery that sparked my decade-long journey to document the stories of the 17,000 Canadians of Jewish faith who served in WWII.
Of those 17,000 Jewish Canadian men and women in uniform, nearly 450 did not come back. Many are buried in France. Until my book, we knew little about these hidden heroes.
They joined up, despite widespread antisemitism at home in Canada, in the barracks from their own comrades, and on the battlefield. They also served at great personal risk, should they be captured by the Nazis and their Jewish identities be discovered. Yet they volunteered, helped defeat Hitler, and rescued the survivors of the Holocaust.
There are some larger, more well-known Canadian War Cemeteries like Beny-sur-Mer, and Bretteville-sur-Laize. Farther east, you should visit the larger Hautot-sur-Mer cemetery in Dieppe where the dead from the Dieppe Raid of 1942 are buried.
Most of the casualties at Beny happened on or after the June 6, 1944 Normandy D-Day invasion at Juno Beach. At Bretteville, you will find casualties of the subsequent fighting closer to Caen and Falaise. There are RCAF crews who were killed flying air raids over German-occupied Europe.
Son of Nathan and Rachel Meltz; husband of Gertrude Meltz, of Neasden, Middlesex, England. He enlisted in 1941, and trained in England. He participated in the D-Day landings. His family says he was killed by a sniper. He died July 8, 1944. He was married to an English seamstress. They think it was she who had the epitaph placed on his tombstone, with the words “He died so Jewry should suffer no more.”
2. Private Joseph E. Gertel, Gunner, North Nova Scotia Highlanders, age 22, 8 July 1944, from Montreal. Born in Poland. Gunner Joseph Gertel of Montreal, Quebec, died of wounds on July 8, 1944. He was buried in the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian Military Cemetery, France. Gunner Gertel enlisted in the Royal Canadian Artillery in 1943 and was attached to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders when he fell in the battle for Normandy early in July. Gunner Gertel was born in Wodiwetz, Poland, in 1921.
3. Corporal Myer Mike Litwack, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, age 22, 25 July 1944.He was from Ottawa, Ont. Son of Mr. and Mrs Jack and Dora Litwack, of 409 Bronson Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario.
4. Rifleman Israel Freedman, The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, 5 July 1944, age 21
In a letter of condolence to Mrs. Freedman, Company Quartermaster Sergeant B. Rosen, wrote: “Izzy, like other Jewish boys, had something more to fight for, a greater cause, and please console yourself with these few words. We over here are all ready to give our lives that others may live! It is a duty not only to King and Country, but to the Jewish people the world over.” Rifleman Freedman was born in Minsk, Russia. Son Of Peter And Molly Freedman, Of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Rifleman Israel Freedman, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was officially reported killed in action in France on July 5, 1944. He was buried in the Canadian Military Cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer, France, beside Rifleman Yude Brownstone of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. Rifleman Freedman enlisted in November 1941 with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada and went overseas in June 1942. He was killed in the fighting near Caen.Rifleman Freedman was born in Minsk, Russia. (Canadian Jewish Congress Charities Committee National Archives Genealogy Collection)
5.Rifleman Yude Brownstone, Royal Winnipeg Rifles, age 20, killed July 4, 1944, July 04. He was from Winnipeg, Man. He was killed at Carpiquet, France. He is buried beside Israel Freedman.
6. Private Abraham B.Cohen, Royal Canadian Ordinance Corps, died August 20 1944, age 45. He was from Toronto. Son of Jack and Betsy Cohen; husband of Bessie Cohen, of Toronto.
7. Trooper David Charles Cramer, 10th Armoured Regiment, Fort Garry Horse, died July 06, 1944. He was from Winnipeg. Son of Oscar and Becky Cramer, of Winnipeg. He was 23.
8. Private David D Goldsmith, North Nova Scotia Highlanders, Canadian Army, age 24, died July 08 1944 He was from Toronto, Ont.
Son of Reuben and Rose Goldsmith, of Toronto, Ontario.
9. Sergeant Fred B. Harris, Queen’s Own Rifles, 23, died June 06 1944. He was from Toronto, Ontario. He was killed while serving with the invasion forces on D-Day. Sgt. Fred B. Harris was one of the closest friends of the late Canadian federal politician, Lt. Barney Danson. In an interview with CBC, Danson said Harris “was killed right on the beach. He hardly got out of the landing craft.”(CBC.ca)
10. Guardsman George Holidenke, 22nd Armoured Regiment, Canadian Grenadier Guards, died August 10, 1944, age 29. He was from Montreal, Que. He served under the name Holden. Son of Morris and Yetta Holidenke.
11.Captain Jacob Barney Mandel , 28, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps., August 14, 1944. A brother, Aircraftman Henry Mandel, served with the R.C.A.F. Son of Mr. and Mrs. M. Mandel. Graduated medical school from the University of Alberta in 1939. Wife Pearl Mandel, of North Portal, Sask. In 1951 the province named Mandel Island in memory of Captain Jacob Mandel. He was transferred to the 12th Ambulance Unit. He was serving with this unit when he was wounded. He was from Estevan, Saskatchewan.
12. Captain Fred Pascal, 2nd survey regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, August 08, 1944. He was from Montreal, Que. He was the son J. Pascal (J. Pascal Hardware Company). He was a member of the Montreal YMHA.
Captain Pascal qualified for his commission with the McGill Canadian Officers Training Corps and went overseas in November 1940. He received his captaincy in April of the following year. A brother, S.A.M.S. Arthur Pascal, served overseas with the 17th Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars.
13. Corporal Israel Pavelow, Royal Canadian Regiment, age 31.He was from Philadelphia, USA. He served under the name Ervin Povol. Murdered as a prisoner of war 9 June 1944. First battalion Regina Rifles.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Hyman Pavelow, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, One of the 13 Regina Rifles caught and executed near the road in Bretteville, in a war crime that would be later investigated and the subject of the book “Conduct Unbecoming, the Story of the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy,” By Howard Margolin.
14. Private Lawrence Reider, Essex Scottish Regiment, died July 18, 1944, age 23. He was from Kitchener, Ontario. A brother, Lance Corporal Saul Reider, who served with the Royal Canadian Regiment, was wounded in Italy.
15. Rifleman Harry Segal, Royal Winnipeg Rifles, died June 08, 1944, He was 25, from Winnipeg, Son of Charles and Sarah Segal. He was married.
16. Trooper Frank Silverberg, First Hussars, Canadian Armoured Corps. Died June 11 1944, age 21. He was from Toronto, Ont. Son of Abraham and Ida Silverberg, of Toronto.
17. Rifleman Nathan Tafler, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, age 21, June 8, 1944. He was from London, Ont. Son of Reuven and Charna Tafler, of London, Ontario.
18. Captain Irving Percival Weingarten, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, age 26, died July 13, 1944. He was from Toronto, Ont. A doctor, he was killed in action in Eterville, France, when a shell struck his regimental aid post as he was tending the wounded.
There are 23 Jewish Canadian servicemen buried in this cemetery.
1. Guardsman Archie Adelman, 22nd Armoured Division, Canadian Grenadier Guards, died August 11. 1944, age 24.
He was from Montreal, Que. Adelman enlisted with the Guards in 1941 and went overseas in 1942. He trained in England for two years. He was with the invasion forces on D-Day and was serving as a tank crew member with the 22nd Armoured Regiment in France when he lost his life. Son of Mrs. and Mrs. Alec Adelman.
2. Warrant Officer Second Class Abram Arbour, Company Sergeant Major. Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, died August 23, 1944. He was from Winnipeg, Man. He was 27. He was killed in action at Falaise. He was awarded the Military Cross. Son of Nathan and Etta Arbour; husband of Clarice May Arbour, of Newhaven, Sussex, England.
“He was awarded the Military Cross, according to a Department of National Defence release (P.N. 51-45) of February 6, 1945. The citation accompanying the award read: “During the night of August 7, 1944, an infantry regiment attacked and captured the town of Fonteney-le-Marmion. On consolidation one of the companies was allotted the defence of the northern section of the town in the vicinity of battalion headquarters. During the early hours of the morning, August 8, the enemy shelled and mortared the town very heavily. The company commander was wounded and C.S.M. Arbour immediately took over command of the company and completed reorganization of the defence position. At approximately 8 a.m. an enemy counterattack in some strength moved against the company position. This attack was pinned down by small-arms fire, and C.S.M. Arbour personally formed and led a counterattack force to mop up the enemy. With utter disregard for personal danger and with absolute confidence he formed a composite force. Under covering fire from 11 and 12 platoons, they assaulted and killed or captured the enemy force that threatened his company position. C.S.M. Arbour, by his speed in handling a difficult situation, and his superb courage, was directly responsible for the battalion holding and consolidating the objective.” He enlisted with the Canadian Army on September 11, 1939, and went overseas on Aug. 24, 1940. He took part in the fighting at Caen and Dieppe.”
3. Trooper David Beigleman, New Brunswick Rangers, 10th Indep. Machine Gun Coy. August 10, 1944, age 21. He was born in Poland. He was from Montreal, Que. Son of Meyer and Ida Beigleman, of Montreal. Member of Hashomer Hatzair and Jewish Public Library.
4. Private Louis Blatt (or Blattin), North Shore Regiment, Winnipeg. Killed Aug. 8, 1944.
5. Lieutenant Lawrence Cohen, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, age 22, killed July 08, 1944, He was from Winnipeg, Cohen was a member of the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, and he died while serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as a CANLOAN Officer. Son of Isaac and Anne Cohen, of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
6. Private William Harvey Dubinsky, Calgary Highlanders, 30, died August 13, 1944. He was born in Russia. He was from Winnipeg.
Son of Son of Shiyah Dubinsky, and of Reva Dubinsky, of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
7. Gunner Issie Elias, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders. age 24. Died August 13, 1944, He was from Montreal, Que.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Elias, of Montreal.
8. Private Muni Erlick, Canadian Armoured Corps. Died August 20, 1944. He was 38, from Montreal. Son of Mrs. S. Erlick of Park Avenue.
He had fought in Spanish Civil War with Mackenzie Papineau battalion. His story is in one of my book chapters about Communist fighters.
9. Lance Sergeant Jack Faibish, Royal Canadian Artillery, died July 28, 1944. He was from Markinch, Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan government on July 10, 1951 included the following locations named after Jewish men: “Faibish Bay” after Jack Faibish, son of Mr. And Mrs. Aaron Faibish, Markinch, Sask. He was posthumously awarded the Certificate of Good Service by Field Marshal Lord Montgomery of Errigal.
10. Lieutenant Jules Freedman, Canadian Armoured Corps. Died Aug 14, 1944. He was from Toronto, age 24. An optometrist, and wireless operator.
Tank commander in the Battle for Falaise pocket. Son of Mrs. A. Freedman.
Article about him in the Globe and Mail.
11. Private Donald Gaskin, age 27, The Black Watch (RHR) died August 08, 1944 He was from Montreal. Son of Samuel and Gertie Gaskin, of Montreal, Quebec. His older brother Signalman Jack Gaskin was killed May 10, 1945 and is buried in Holland.
12. Private Isadore Gimple, Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, died August 12, 1944. He was from Toronto. Sister Gert lived at 41 Dundurn Street.
13. Acting Corporal Reuben Gorodetsky, The Black Watch (RHR), died August 21, 1944. He was from Montreal, Que. He was a member of the Montreal YMHA. Son of Mrs. G. Gorodetsky of Jeanne Mance Street. He was married and was involved in the labour movement in Montreal’s fur and leatherworkers union.
14. Gunner Joseph Bernard Horn, Royal Canadian Artillery, died August 08, 1944. He was from Montreal. He was a member of the Montreal YMHA. He was age 22.
Son of William Horn, and of Regina Horn, of Montreal. He was a dentist with the Canadian Dental Corps, but changed regiments to serve overseas.
15. Private Arthur Osher Lewis, Lincoln and Welland Regiment, died August 02, 1944. He was from Hamilton, Ont. He was 25, and married. Husband of Clara Rose Lewis, of Hamilton, Ontario.
16. Rifleman William Maloff, Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, age 27, died August 10 1944. Son of George and Tanna Maloff, of Calgary, Alberta.
17. Captain Harry L. Marantz, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, Aug 14, 1944. He was from Winnipeg, Man. He was a doctor. He was mentioned in Dispatches. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Marantz. His son is Denis Marantz, in PEI.
18. Lance Corporal Sam Harry Roseman (Rosenman), Essex Scottish Regiment, died July 30, 1944., He was from Kitchener, Ont. Son of Mrs. Bessie Roseman.
19. Flight Lieutenant / Warrant Officer, Air Gunner Max Samuels, Royal Canadian Air Force, 408 Squadron, age 24, killed June 20, 1943,.He was from New Glasgow, NS. He was reported missing after air operations over Germany. Son of Samuel and Annie Samuels, of New Glasgow. “TheCanadian Press reported his flying exploits. A member of the reserve militia before 1939, Flight Lieutenant Samuels enlisted in the air force in September 1940 and proceeded overseas in September 1941. He participated in bombing attacks on the Italian automobile centre of Turin and in sorties over Cologne, Essen and Dortmund. He received his commission overseas for efficiency, meritorious service and the display of qualities of leadership in the field. At first a wireless operator, he later became a bomb aimer. Three brothers also served in the armed forces: Bandsman Issie Samuels and Sergeant Louis Samuels in the army, and Flying Officer Saul Samuels also in the R.C.A.F.”
20. Flying Officer Mortimer Samuel Max Sucharov, Royal Canadian Air Force, died December 02, 1944; He was from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was 29. Son of Harry and Sophie Sucharov, of Winnipeg
21. Bombardier Albert Tweyman, Essex Scottish Regiment, age 24, died August 08, 1944.
He was from Toronto, Ont. Son of Harry and Rose Tweyman of Toronto
One of 8 children. Brother Private Jack Tweyman. Worked for the Daily Hebrew Journal before he enlisted.
22. Sergeant Morley Bernard Wachnow, The Black Watch of Canada (RHR), killed July 28, 1944, age 22. He was from Edmonton. Son of Nathan Wachnow, and of Sarah Wachnow, of Edmonton. Sergeant Morley Wachnow of Edmonton, Alberta, was officially reported killed in action in France on July 28, 1944. Sergeant Wachnow enlisted in July 1940. He joined the Prince Albert Volunteers and later transferred to the Regina Rifle Regiment. He was promoted to sergeant while stationed at the Osborne Barracks in Winnipeg. He went overseas in August 1943 and was transferred to the Black Watch. A brother, Wilfred Wachnow, served as navigator in the R.C.A.F. href=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JyXppb9KufM/U4Yy4jcSF4I/AAAAAAAACdE/GnlbY83JgCI/s1600/wachnow.png”
23. Private Gerald Basil Aspler Birth unknown. Death; Aug. 8, 1944. Private, North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment, R.C.I.C. Son of Philip Sherwin Aspler and Florence Aspler, of Montreal, Province of Quebec. Age 19. Father was Jewish, mother was Church of England. Burial: Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery Cintheaux Departement du Calvados Basse-Normandie, France Plot: X. B. 11.
1. Arthur Crotin, Signalman Royal Canadian Corps. Of Signals August 23, 1944. Bayeux War Cemetery (IV. F. 22.) Calvados, France. He was from Ansonville, Ont. Son of Mrs. H. Crotin. A brother Lance Bombadier Walter Joseph Crotin, also died in the war, of illness, while training in Canada, in 1943. He is buried at Krugersdorf, Ontario.
2. Louis Paul, Private Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, August 09, 1944. Bayeux War Cemetery (IV. F. 21.) Calvados, France. He was born in Poland. He was from Winnipeg, Man. He died after being critically wounded in the battle of Normandy.
1. Julius Bendit, Trooper, 6th Duke of Connaught’s Royal Canadian Hussars, died, April 15, 1945. Bayeux Memorial (Panel 19 column 3) Calvados, France. He was born in Bucovina. He was from Montreal, although his mother later moved to Ste. Agathe des Monts, Que. He was reported missing in France on July 27, 1944 and was for official purposes presumed killed in action. Mother is Mrs. Sabina Bendit. He worked in cartage for a furniture store. He fought through Sicily in the Italian campaign, then was transferred to France for D-Day.
2. David Gelman,Trooper 27th Canadian Armoured (Sherbrooke Fusiliers) Regiment, 22, died August 08, 194. Bayeux Memorial (Panel 19, column 3) Calvados, France. He was from Ste. Sophie de Lacorne, Terrebonne County, Que. He was killed in Caen, France. Son of Boris and Sarah Gelman, of Terrebonne. He was a farmer.
3. Moses or Maurice Glanzberg (or Glansberg), Rifleman, Regina Rifle Regiment, July 09, 1944. He was 33, Bayeux Memorial (Panel 26) Calvados, France. He was from Ottawa, Ont. He was killed in action in Normandy.Son of Menahem-Mendel Glansberg and Chane Glansberg.
4. L/Cpl Dick Steele, formerly Moses Kosawatsky. Governor General’s Foot Guards (Canadian Armoured Corps). Died August 17, 1944. Bayeux Memorial (Panel 19, column 2) Calvados, France. He was from Toronto. Married to Mrs. Esther Steele.
1. Nathan Louis Berger, 22, Warrant Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force, #233 Squadron. died June 6, 1944. Ranville War Cemetery. Calvados, France. He was from Montreal, Que. He was reported missing on active service on June 6, 1944 and was subsequently reported killed on active service. Warrant Officer Berger was attached to the RAF Transport Command and was engaged in ferrying operations, carrying paratroops to the Caen sector when killed. Son of Harry and Sarah Berger.
2. Alex Ellis Flexer , Lance Corporal US-Canadian Parachute Battalion, June 06, 1944. Ranville War Cemetery (IV. A. 6.) Calvados, France He was from Montreal, Que. Son of Jacob and Sarah Flexer.
1. John Orrell Levine, Lieutenant Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, July 02, 1944. He was 23. Hottot-les-Bagues War Cemetery. He was from Inverness, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
In Hautot-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery (Dieppe Raid casualties 1942.)
1. Lionel Cohen, Private Royal Regiment of Canada, killed August 19, 1942. Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer (J. 60) Seine-Maritime, France He was from Toronto, Ont. He was killed in action at Dieppe. Before the war he was in the insurance business, He was Joe King’s cousin from Montreal. Commando. Son of Nathan and Ray Cohen, of Toronto, Ontario. Husband of R. Cohen. Participated in the first Jewish religious services in Iceland.
2) Samuel Berger, 22, Private Essex Scottish Regiment August 19, 1942. Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer (D. 35) Seine-Maritime, France He was born in Poland. He was from Windsor, Ont. He was killed in action at Dieppe. Son of Osias and Freda Berger.
3. Louis Goldin, Private, Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal August 19, 1942. Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer (L. 62.) Seine-Maritime, France. He was from Montreal, Que. He was killed in action in Dieppe. Manning his machine gun.
4. Morris Lozdon, Private, Royal Regiment of Canada, 32, August 19, 1942. Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer , Seine-Maritime, France. He was from Toronto, Ont. He was killed in action at Dieppe. Married with three children. Son of Hyman and Elizabeth Lozdon, of Toronto, Ontario; husband of Mary Lozdon, father of Ronald, Barbara and Stanley. He took commando training and participated in raids against Germans in Boulogne and Dieppe, capturing some prisoners. Before the war he worked at a model airplane company.
5. Paul Leon Magner, Private, Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, 23, killed August 19, 1942. Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer (K. 46.) Seine-Maritime, France. He was from Toronto, Ont. He was killed in action at Dieppe.
6. Morris Greenberg, Sergeant, Royal Regiment of Canada, August 19, 1942. Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer Seine-Maritime, France He was from Toronto, Ont. He was killed in action at Dieppe. Sgt Morris Greenberg – RRC- aged 24 years, Yiddish poet from 50, Oxford St, Toronto, killed evacuating wounded. Photo. Born 9.11.17 son of Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Greenberg.
Frederick Griffin, war correspondent for the Toronto Star, wrote of Sergeant Greenberg: “During the Dieppe raid, Sergeant Morris Greenberg… won the praise of his officers and fellow soldiers after he helped many wounded companions safely back from battle under intense fire.” A brother, Sergeant Irving Greenberg, served overseas with the 48th Highlanders and later with an anti-aircraft unit that downed a number of German planes.
1. Herman Backler, 20, Flight Sergeant, Royal Canadian Air Force, Calais Canadian War Cemetery, Leubringhen, Pas de Calais, Leubringhen, France. He was from Montreal, Que. He was listed missing after active service on August 19, 1944, and was for official purposes presumed dead (RCAF Casualty List #1193).
2. Mervyn K. Emsig, Flying Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force, September 09, 1944. Calais Canadian War Cemetery, Leubringhen (7. E. 1.) Pas de Calais, Leubringhen, France. He was from Toronto, Ont. Son of Mr, and Mrs. Max Emsig of Dufferin Avenue. 20 years old.
3. Simon Green, Private Royal Canadian Regimen, August 19, 1942. Calais Canadian War Cemetery (4. B. 7.) Pas de Calais, Leubringhen, France. He was from Toronto, Ont. died of wounds sustained at Dieppe, whilst a POW. 33 years old.
4. Leizer Heifetz , Private Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, August 26, 1942. Calais Canadian War Cemetery, Leubringhen (4. A. 4.) Pas de Calais, Leubringhen, France He was born in Russia. He was from Parkerview, Sask. He was listed missing after the raid on Dieppe, was for official purposes presumed dead (Casualty List # 349).
Nephew of Mrs. Malka Lowe, Melville, Sask. 33 years old.
5. Joseph Shore, Rifleman, Royal Winnipeg Riffles, September 27, 1944. Calais Canadian War Cemetery (6. C. 3.) Pas de Calais, Leubringhen, France. He was from Winnipeg, Man. He was killed in action in Belgium, age 36. Son of Abraham and Rebecca Shore, of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
6. Morris Marvin Soronow, Lieutenant Royal Winnipeg Rifles, August 28, 1944. Calais Canadian War Cemetery, Leubringhen (2. A. 6.) Pas de Calais, Leubringhen, France. He was from Winnipeg, He met his death when the platoon he commanded was crossing the Seine on the way to Rouen and ran into a German machine gun nest. Lieutenant Soronow had gone on ahead to find a more advantageous position for his men when he was struck down. However, he managed to warn his platoon to fall back. Son of Max and Riva Soronow, of Winnipeg, Manitoba. LL.D. (University of Manitoba). He was 31.
Tombstone says: “Here lies one of the Jewish faith. He gave his life for his God, his people and country.”
An honours graduate in law, he was a member of the Montefiore club, which has established a law prize in his honour.
1. Solomon Kay, Pilot Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force, February 24, 1944. Bermering (Bermerange) Communal Cemetery (grave 2) Moselle, France. He was born in Poland. He was from Toronto, Ont. RCAF Casualty List # 844 on March 30, 1944.
1. Julius Kramer, Pilot Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force, June 25, 1944. Longueval, Collective grave, near Longueval, Somme, France . He was from Toronto, Ont. Flew a Lancaster Bomber. Graduated from RCAF Centralia Station.
“Kramer was one of Fifty-three graduates who received their wings on April 6, 1943 as members of Course 69. After operational training, Kramer and his crew were posted to No. 1651 Conversion Unit, where Kramer received the following assessment: “Very steady pilot, slightly above average. Handles crew well.” Kramer was posted to No. 61 Squadron. On June 24, 1944, Pilot Officer Kramer piloted Lancaster ND987 for operations to Prouville, France, to attack flying-bomb sites. The Lancaster was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed near the village of Epecamps, about 2 kilometres from Bernaville, Somme. Pilot Officer Kramer’s brother, Captain Louis S. Kramer U.S. Army, travelled to the area and received the following information from local villagers. On the night of 24th/25th June 1944, an English bomber crashed in flames in a field in the village of Epecamps and exploded on impact, scattering the wreckage over a half acre. No identifications were possible, but by identifying the remains of six left feet, the villagers assumed that at least six persons perished in the crash. They buried the remains they could find in the village cemetery. Part of the wreckage with the number ND 987 was shown to Captain L.S. Kramer by the villagers. As one member of the crew is now safe, and as he completes the crew of seven, it is possible to assume that one of the six members that perished in the crash, was P/O J. Kramer.”
1. Alan Rodd, Flight Sergeant, Royal Canadian Air Force, June 11, 1944. Berou-la-Mulotiere Communal Cemetery (grave 1) Eure-et-Loir, France He was from Winnipeg, Man. He transferred from the army to the Air Force. He was an Air Gunner.
Son of Samuel and Annie Rodnunsky, of Edmonton, Alberta
1. Harry (or Harold) Sager, Flying Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force, June 13, 1944. Longueil Churchyard (British plot. Coll. Grave 3-5) Seine-Maritime, France. He was from Montreal, Que. His Lancaster bomber, damaged by enemy action, crashed over Varengeville-Sur-Mer near Longueil, France. He was a member of the Montreal YMHA.
Lance Corporal, from Toronto. Age 27, Royal Regiment of Canada, R.C.I.C. went missing. Aug, 19, 1942. Lance Corporal Meyer Bubis of Toronto, Ontario, was officially reported to have died on November 1, 1942. He enlisted in the army at Toronto on September 7, 1939, and proceeded to Iceland in June 1940. He was sent to England in 1941, where he was attached to headquarters. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and came to Toronto in 1920. His sister, Esther Bubis, served with the Canadian Women’s Army Corps.
7 thoughts on “Biographies by Cemetery of Canadian Jewish casualties in northern France during the Second World War”
We visited the Canadian Cemetery. We are an English-French couple, so we had no relation to anyone in the cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer. However, on arrival I happened to notice this tomb with the Jewish star. Intrigued, I went to look at the tomb and it happened that we share the same family name: Freedman. I was completely bemused by the way the whole thing happened. We took a few pictures of I. Freedman's tomb and I would be happy to email them to you and/or to his family, so that people can see that his tomb, like all of them, are cared for with a lot of kindness. Eventually, you may also wish to add the photo on your blog.
Thank you for your website.
Yes please and thank you for the note. I can onpass the info…
and would be happy to credit you with the photos. my email address is email@example.com
War is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.
Your article is very well done, a good read.
Hi Ellen, I have written a lot about the Jews in Iceland. Recently I came across your blog, and discovered that the man in a photograph taken after the Yom Kippur fast in 1940 in Reykjavík, was Lionel Cohen. Meyer Bubis also attended the first Jewish gathering in Iceland. Another person, Mr. Maurice Kaye of Bournemouth, England, had back in the 1994 when I asked the Jewish Chronicle to publish the photograph, claimed he was at the service and that the man, which I now can identify as Lionel Cohen was he. Mr. Kaye is 103 years old. I cannot tell you, why Mr. Kaye thinks he is on the photograph, and I do not want to doubt him. He might have left before the photo-session.
I have on my blog in Icelandic written about this misinterpretation (See http://fornleifur.blog.is/blog/fornleifur/entry/1783844/ ) and identified Lionel Cohen and Meyer Bubis with the help of the information on your blog and other sources. Later, I will translate my article into English. Once again I have published the wonderful photographs of the first Jewish Service in Iceland, which Lionel and Meyer participated in. You can also find a short article in English on this first Yom Kippur of the British/Canadian troops and Jewish refugees in Iceland (http://fornleifur.blog.is/blog/fornleifur/entry/1675308/).
HI Ellin: I just found this today. My Uncle David is number 8 in your list from Beny-sur-Mer. He enlisted with at least two of his brothers. My Dad tried to enlist but was not able due to health reasons. I might be able to find a photo of him. if so I will pass it along.
I have some photos taken by German soldier. Its shows gravce of the Jewish Canadian soldier John Gorback. Where is it? I can send to You a picture. dr Tomasz Wisniewski (Bialystok) firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Wisniewski please send it to me.