Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Canadian Dieppe Raid Veteran says it was supposed to be just another drill.

Miriam and Hon. Col. David Lloyd Hart, MM with Ellin Bessner
(Ellin Bessner photo)

I just interviewed a 98-year-old Canadian Jewish veteran of the 1942 Dieppe Raid from World War ll, Hon. Col. David Hart. He was on a landing craft just off the beach from Dieppe operating a radio wireless set. The then-Sergeant with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals was credited with saving 100 Canadian commandos, who hadn't received the signal to retreat. It had been sent from the raid headquarters ship offshore but they were too far away from the action. So he relayed the message again, and got through, amidst the murderous German gunfire on that terrible August 19 day. Hart and his wife Miriam still live in Montreal, in their own home, and were gracious to give up part of their Saturday to meet with me. His eye- witness recollections will be in Chapter 7 of my book "Double Threat" about Canada's Jews in Uniform in World War ll. They are about to celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary. Note the wartime photo of then Sergeant Hart in the background. It shows his citation for winning the Military Medal, which he picked up from the King at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in late 1942. Watch this wartime newsreel of the event. You can see Hart and his two brothers at about 8 minutes into the video.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Decorated Jewish Canadian World War ll doctor dies in Toronto: the pathologist who was also a hero of Sogel

Dr. Nathan Kaufman, MBE and MiD, (courtesy Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel)
One of the most highly decorated Canadian Jewish medical officers during the Second World War has died. Captain Nathan Kaufman, a Montreal native, was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire and was mentioned in despatches for his actions in Germany in April 1945. He went on to become a famous pathologist and was professor emeritus at Queen's University. He died Wednesday in Toronto, in his 100th year. Captain Kaufman and a Toronto dentist , Captain Harry Jolley, were tending to wounded men in an Canadian army medical field dressing station when it came under attack. Both unarmed Jewish officers put down their stethoscopes and picked up discarded weapons to fight off the German paratroopers and civilian snipers in Sogel. Funeral/internment is Sunday in Kingston. (Photo courtesy Benjamin's Park Memorial Chapel)