Second World War

France’s highest honour given to D-Day veteran

By Naomi Firsht, July 15, 2015

The Marseillaise was played through London’s French quarters on Tuesday in celebration of Bastille Day, but last Shabbat it made a guest appearance in a more unlikely place.


Proposal to rename Prague station after Sir Nicholas Winton

By Naomi Firsht, July 8, 2015

Prague’s main railway station could be named after Sir Nicholas Winton, the “British Schindler” who saved the lives of 669 Jewish Czech children from the Nazis during the Second World War.

Sir Nicholas died aged 106 last week. He was responsible for rescuing the children before they were sent to concentration camps.


Luxembourg apologises for Holocaust role

By Josh Jackman, June 11, 2015

The Luxembourg government has for the first time apologised to its Jewish population for its role in the Holocaust, admitting that some officials were complicit in the killings.

Around a third of the Duchy’s Jews - 1,200 victims - were killed during its Nazi occupation, which lasted from May 1940 to September 1944.


"Enemy aliens": The untold story of the women on Man

By Sarah Ebner, June 7, 2015

Katherine Hallgarten was just a year old when she became an "enemy alien" in the Second World War. As hysteria against the Germans grew, she and her mother, Ruth Borchard, were removed from London to the Isle of Man. They had no idea when they would return.


European Jewry in long-term decline, says Pew report

By Naomi Firsht, February 10, 2015

The number of Jews living in Europe has been in decline since the Second World War, reported the Pew Research Centre on Monday.

There are now 1.4 million Jews living in Europe, which is around 10 per cent of the world Jewish population. The most dramatic drop has been in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union.


The Bletchley codebreakers who never cracked

By Josh Jackman, December 24, 2014

Most daughters keep secrets from their mothers, but not usually because they are a matter of national security.

During the Second World War, Ruth Bourne, from Birmingham, worked at the codebreaking base at Bletchley Park as one of the team helping Alan Turing crack the Germans’ Enigma code.


A German who fought for Britain

By Josh Jackman, November 13, 2014

A German-Jewish Second World War soldier has been hailed for displaying "the most astonishing courage" in fighting for Britain against the Axis powers.

Sergeant Rudolf Friedlander fled Germany in 1933, eventually arriving in Britain three years later.


'How are you going to escape with no radio?'

By Rosa Doherty, November 13, 2014

For 69 years, Jack Mann has refused to talk about what he did in the war.

As a member of the Special Boat Service, his missions behind enemy lines were shrouded in secrecy. Until now, he and his erstwhile comrades have kept those secrets but Private Mann, the last SBS fighter alive, has now spoken about his covert operations.


Memorial to Jewish fighters

By Marcus Dysch, November 13, 2014

The contribution of Jewish servicemen and women in the Second World War is to be recognised at a new museum in Israel.

The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War Two at the Yad Lashiryon armed forces memorial will open next May and will honour the more than one-and-a-half million Jews who served in the Allied forces.


British blamed for botched Palmach raid

By Marc Goldberg, October 31, 2014

British army incompetence was the reason for a botched Second World War raid in which 23 Jewish commandos and a British officer died, according to the former head of an IDF unit responsible for missing soldiers.