A French Jewish group is helping to organize a special commemoration for 149 Jews who died during the US 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 the 149 Jewish soldiers who died there, the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities said in a statement published Tuesday on its website. Recent research by the US 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. The Battle of Normandy was one of the largest landings in human history. As German counterattacks were thwarted, the Allies poured men and material 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.