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June 6: D-Day

Lawrence Bush
June 6, 2010

capa_beachThe Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe began on this date in 1944, with over 150,000 American, Canadian, British and Free French troops landing on the beaches of Normandy, France. By nightfall, over 9,000 of them were dead. Swimming ashore with the second assault wave on Omaha Beach, Life magazine photographer Robert Capa took more than a hundred photos during the first hours of the invasion, but only eleven frames survived a darkroom blunder by a Life technician. (Capa went on to co-found the Magnum Photo Agency; see our April 10th Jewdayo entry about his brother, Cornell Capa). About 550,000 American Jews served in the U.S. armed forces during World War II; 11,000 were killed, 7,000 of them in combat; 26,000 received medals for valor. About a million more Jews fought in the armed forces of the USSR, Great Britain (including 40,000 from Palestine), Canada and the other Allied forces, and more than 30,000 as partisans in Europe.
“You will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.” —General Dwight D. Eisenhower

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.