EUROPE (VINnews) — This week, seven Jewish American troops who were killed in WWII had their headstones replaced to reflect their Jewish faith.
The men had been buried under headstones with Christian symbols, but this week they were replaced by Stars of David.
The shocking discovery that Jewish soldiers were buried with non-Jewish headstones was made several years ago by Shalom Lamm. Mr. Lamm leads Operation Benjamin — a non-profit dedicated to ensuring that Jewish soldiers who are buried overseas have grave markers that reflect their faith.
Mr. Lamm was talking with Rabbi Jacob Schacter in 2014, who noticed during a trip to the Normandy American Cemetery in France, that there seemed to be too few Stars of David.
The CEO “ran home” that night and “counted the photographs” that Rabbi Schacter had brought from the cemetery, and arrived at the same conclusion.
Mr. Lamm told Army Times that he “could not sleep,” consumed with a question: “Where are the missing Jews?”
Since then, Lamm, Schacter and others have banded together to identify Jewish-American troops who are mistakenly buried under Christian symbols.
Their team has replaced at least 12 headstones, including troops buried in the Philippines.
Operation Benjamin is named after Benjamin Garadetsky, a U.S. soldier killed in 1944 who was given a non-Jewish headstone at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France.