World War II

Content type
Collection

Selma Stern-Taeubler

Both as a historian and a novelist, Selma Stern-Taeubler traced the experience of German Jewry from the tolerant era of eighteenth century Prussia to her own experience of living in Nazi Germany.

Deborah Dash Moore receives the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award

June 10, 2013

"No area offered greater freedom and challenge than American Jewish history… It has been a great voyage.” - Deborah Dash Moore

Trudy Orris

Shaped by her experiences in post-Holocaust Europe and older than most civil rights volunteers, Trudy Orris brought her children with her to participate in demonstrations down South.

Frances Slanger

One of four nurses to wade ashore at Normandy Beach on D-Day, Frances Slanger was the only nurse to die as a result of enemy action in the European Theater.

Gertrude Shapiro

A nurse who put her patients before herself, Gertrude Shapiro travelled to Hiroshima to treat the injured after the city suffered an atomic blast.

Yetta Moskowitz

A pioneer of air evacuation medicine, Yetta Moskowitz received an air medal for flying over 100 hours through combat zones in New Guinea and the Philippines to evacuate wounded soldiers in World War II.

Miriam "Mimi" Miller

Miriam “Mimi” Miller resisted her family’s notions of the proper life for a nice Jewish girl, not only training as a nurse but serving in a combat zone in the Philippines through some of the worst devastation of World War II.

Bebe Koch

Wanting to somehow contribute to the defeat of the Nazis persecuting her fellow Jews, Bebe Koch enlisted at age nineteen and rose through the ranks to become a platoon commander.

Bernice Sains Freid

Bernice Sains Freid called her time in WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during WWII “the happiest days of my life.”

Selma Cronan

Selma Kantor Cronan flew as a pilot both running transport missions during WWII and later as a civilian, winning competitive aerial races.

Charlotte Chaney

Lieutenant Charlotte Ellner Chaney was permanently changed by her work as one of the first army nurses to help survivors of Dachau recover from their ordeal.

Miranda Bloch

Miranda “Randy” Bloch not only served as a Marine during World War II, she was one of the rare women Marines to be issued flight orders, helping pilots and air crew train for radar bombing runs.

Matilda and Bernice Blaustein

While 150,000 women eventually served in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in World War II, Matilda Blaustein was remarkable both as one of the first to volunteer and because she was joined in the service by her daughter, Bernice.

Joanna Eckstein

Joanna Eckstein widened the perspective of Seattle residents both with her travel writing and as a patron of the arts who supported individual artists and museums.
Women Airforce Service Pilots, 1944

Miranda Bloch, The Flying Marine

by Tara Metal

"I am proud that I had the guts and the patriotism to defy my parents and enlist in the service of my country when it needed me." –Miranda Bloch

"What is a nice Jewish girl going to do in the military, especially in the Marine Corps?" –Miranda Bloch’s incredulous father

Did you know that there were women in the Marines in the 1940’s? I certainly didn’t.  

Topics: World War II
Frances Slanger

Frances Slanger, Purple Heart

by Tara Metal

“The fire was burning low, and just a few live coals are on the bottom. With the slow feeding of wood and finally coal, a roaring fire is started. I couldn't help thinking how similar to a human being a fire is. If it is not allowed to run down too low, and if there is a spark of life left in it, it can be nursed back. So can a human being.” –Frances Slanger

Lt. Frances Slanger of Roxbury, Massachusetts was one of four nurses who waded ashore at Normandy on D-Day. She was also the first American nurse to die in Europe in World War II.

Topics: World War II
Selma Cronan at Avenger Field, Texas, 1944

Women of the U.S. Air Force: Selma Cronan and Yetta Moskowitz

by Tara Metal

In 1942, the United States was suffering through a severe shortage of pilots. Men were needed to fight overseas, and the government was forced to take a chance and train women to fly military aircraft. This pioneering group of civilian female pilots was called the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots, or WASP for short. Over 1,000 young women were trained to fly B-26 and B-29 bombers, test new planes, and fly shipments across the country from factories to military bases. Fun fact: the WASP mascot was drawn by Walt Disney, and appeared on each woman’s shoulder patch. Less fun fact: All records of the WASPs were classified and sealed for 35 years, so their contributions were little known and all but inaccessible to historians.

Topics: World War II

Betty Robbins

Betty Robbins spent her life breaking gender boundaries in the Jewish community even before she made history as the first woman cantor in 1955.

Golda Meir

A direct, no-nonsense politician who participated in Israel’s governance from its independence onward, Golda Meir served as Israel’s first female Prime Minister through the turbulent period of the Yom Kippur War.

Sadie Loewith

Sadie Loewith was thirty years old before she was allowed to vote, but took on leadership roles in business and local government and fought to ensure other women could do the same.

Irma Levy Lindheim

Called “the grandmother” of the kibbutz for helping found and sustain multiple kibbutzim, Irma Levy Lindheim also made phenomenal contributions to fundraising and organizational efforts to create and maintain the fledgling State of Israel.

Tehilla Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein cofounded Jewish Science with her husband as an alternative to Christian Science, creating a small but passionate following and carving a place for herself as a congregational leader.

Rita Levi-Montalcini

Rita Levi-Montalcini won the Nobel Prize for her work in discovering nerve growth factor, crucial for understanding neurodegenerative disorders like ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.

Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber carved a unique place for herself in the world of fashion as the designer of some of the most inventive and sought-after handbags in the world.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank’s remarkable honesty and gift for writing made her diary one of the most well-known books in the world, and made her an icon of all those lost in the Holocaust.
Subscribe to World War II

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

Can We Talk?

listen now

Get JWA in your inbox