WWII Jewish-American Soldier Recovered After 80 Years Buried with Nazis

WWII Jewish-American Soldier Recovered After 80 Years Buried with Nazis
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Lost But Not Forgotten

Eight decades after his death on the bat¬≠tle¬≠field, the sto¬≠ry of Lt. Nathan Baskind, a Jew¬≠ish-Amer¬≠i¬≠can hero of World War II, has final¬≠ly come to light. 

Recent¬≠ly recov¬≠ered from a Ger¬≠man mass grave where he was mis¬≠tak¬≠en¬≠ly buried along¬≠side Nazi sol¬≠diers, Lt. Baskind‚Äôs remark¬≠able jour¬≠ney home brings clo¬≠sure to his fam¬≠i¬≠ly and shines a light on the sac¬≠ri¬≠fices of Jew¬≠ish-Amer¬≠i¬≠can sol¬≠diers in WWII.

A Long Jour¬≠ney Home

Draft¬≠ed in 1942, Lt. Baskind, a Pitts¬≠burgh native, brave¬≠ly led his unit dur¬≠ing the D‚ÄĎDay inva¬≠sion and the fight to secure Utah Beach. Trag¬≠i¬≠cal¬≠ly, he was killed on a recon mis¬≠sion near Cher¬≠bourg. Ini¬≠tial¬≠ly declared unre¬≠cov¬≠er¬≠able, his name was etched on the Wall of the Miss¬≠ing at Normandy.

How¬≠ev¬≠er, in 2022, a geneal¬≠o¬≠gist unearthed a shock¬≠ing dis¬≠cov¬≠ery ‚Äď Lt. Baskind‚Äôs name on a plaque at a Ger¬≠man ceme¬≠tery. This spurred Oper¬≠a¬≠tion Ben¬≠jamin, a ded¬≠i¬≠cat¬≠ed non-prof¬≠it, to work tire¬≠less¬≠ly for his recovery. 

After over­com­ing sen­si­tive nego­ti­a­tions and reli­gious hur­dles, a team of experts exhumed the mass grave in Decem­ber 2023. Through DNA test­ing and metic­u­lous search­ing, Lt. Baskind’s remains were final­ly identified.

Lt. Baskind‚Äôs Lega¬≠cy Lives On

On June 23, 2024, the 80th anniver­sary of his death, Lt. Baskind will be laid to rest with full mil­i­tary hon­ors at the Nor­mandy Amer­i­can Ceme­tery in a Jew­ish cer­e­mo­ny. This long-await­ed home­com­ing serves as a poignant reminder of the courage and sac­ri­fice of Jew­ish-Amer­i­can heroes like Lt. Baskind, whose sto­ries deserve to be remembered.

Oper­a­tion Ben­jam­in’s unwa­ver­ing ded­i­ca­tion ensures Lt. Baskind’s lega­cy will live on, inspir­ing future generations.

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