D-Day memories fade as World War II witnesses die, one by one

Published 3:54 pm Thursday, May 9, 2019

A Jewish French-American World War II veteran, Bernard Dargols, lived almost long enough to join the celebrations next month marking 75 years since the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

Dargols waded onto Omaha Beach in June 1944 as an American soldier to help liberate France from the Nazis, who persecuted his Jewish family.

At 98, Dargols died last week. He was laid to rest Thursday at France’s most famous cemetery, Pere Lachaise.

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An ever-smaller number of D-Day veterans will take part in June 6 ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of history’s largest amphibian invasion.

Of the 160,000 Allied forces who came ashore that day, few are still living. Historians stress the importance of keeping their memoires alive.

Dargols warned in his memoir against allowing extremism to flourish: “It could start again. We must be vigilant.”