While I can’t issue medals for gallant service, I would like to recognize the holy work that British historian Martin Sugarman has been doing for years in the field of remembrance. Aside from his dozen published books on Jewish military topics, including his most recent one on Jews in the Merchant Navy in the Second World War, Sugarman keeps a rolling list of Jewish (or potentially-Jewish personnel) who were killed in WWII or WWI, but whose graves do not bear the symbol of the Star of David. Some actually bear a cross.
The coronavirus has forced the cancellation or limitation of most of the world’s highly-anticipated ceremonies to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. For my part, all of my scheduled lectures and public events here in Canada this spring have been postponed or called off entirely, due to the pandemic. However, the milestones of the liberation of Holland and #V-EDay75 are far too important to ignore. That is why I want to pay tribute, virtually, to the vital contribution of Canada’s 17,000 Jewish fighting military personnel to winning the war against Hitler, and rescuing the survivors of the Holocaust.