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  • Martin van den Bergh

D-Day: Real life stories

I have been captivated by the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, when the Allied Forced launched the offence against the Nazis in 1944, What made me very emotional was the fact that the world leaders referred to real stories of real people who had participated in the invasion of the Normandy beeches. One of those men who landed there was my grandfather, Rabbi Salomon Rodrigues Pereira. He was the first Jewish chaplain of the Dutch Jewish Forces. So relating to real live stories has a real poignancy for me. This teaches us that history and current affairs cannot be divorced from real human experiences. Because, all events, whether they be small or big, always impact on the human experience, whether as an individual or as a group.


For me, one of the most important lessons that we must learn from the Second World War, is that we must never dehumanise any fellow human being. We may disagree with them. But, we must always uphold the dignity of the human spirit. This is is the vital lesson we must take with us as we commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.

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