Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

The gravestone of Canadian soldier George Meltz

He died so Jewry shall suffer no more

by Andrea Cohen and David Matlow, June 5, 2014

A Canadian soldier died in battle 70 years ago. What he died for continues to guide our work. That soldier is George Meltz.


George Meltz was born in Toronto, the youngest of 10 children to Nathan and Rachel Meltz.  George worked as a salesperson and installer for the Maple Leaf Wallpaper Co.


On Sept. 6, 1940 George enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces and was assigned to the Third Anti-Tank Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery. In October 1941 he shipped out to Liverpool.  While in England he met and married Trudy Lewis of London.  He also trained for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Nazi occupied Western Europe.


Seventy years ago on D Day, June 6, 1944, Bombardier George Meltz was one of 160,000 Allied troops who stormed the beaches of Normandy.  One month later, on July 8, 1944, he was killed by a sniper.  He was 25 years old.


Around 2,000 Canadian soldiers are buried at the Canadian Military Cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer, Juno Beach, France. One of those soldiers is George Meltz. Each of the many gravestones in this cemetery contains an epitaph.  This soldier’s epitaph reads “HE DIED SO JEWRY SHALL SUFFER NO MORE”.


As the co-chairs of Toronto’s 2015 UJA Campaign, we have had an opportunity to consider whether Jewish suffering has indeed stopped. We have asked ourselves “did what George Meltz die for come to be?”


Thankfully, this brave soldier and millions of other Allied troops defeated the Nazis and liberated the concentration camps.  With the Allied victory, the worst suffering that the Jewish people have experienced in our long and difficult history came to an end.  Sadly however not all Jewish suffering has ended.


Anti-Semitism remains and is rearing its ugly head ever more frequently and in more places.  Our right to a Jewish State is constantly under challenge, and the efforts to delegitimize Israel are increasing in intensity.  We can never let down our guard, not even for a minute.


In Toronto, Jews still suffer.  According to the 2011 Canadian census, 12 per cent of Toronto’s Jewish population lives below the poverty line.  That is roughly 20,000 of our fellow Jews.


Toronto is the home of 10,000 Holocaust survivors, the very people who George Meltz and his fellow soldiers liberated.  Twenty five per cent of our survivor population, or 2,500 people, live below the poverty line and  200 of these survivors are on a waiting list for basic social services such as home care support.


These people have suffered enough.  United Jewish Appeal is helping them. Three agencies funded by UJA donations provide support to Holocaust survivors in three general areas:  Circle of Care provides home care services, Jewish Family and Child provides emergency financial assistance, and Jewish Information Services assists in processing reparation payments.


UJA has created the Holocaust Survivor Services Access Center which is a single point of entry for social services for Toronto’s survivor population. Only one application is needed to access all necessary services, and this collaborative model enables our survivors to access better, faster and pinpointed help. Only UJA has the breadth and expertise to bring services offered by various agencies together to fashion collaborative solutions for difficult social issues.  The beneficiaries of this collaboration are all of us.


We may never achieve George Meltz’s objective to end all Jewish suffering.  But we should keep trying.


Reprinted with the permission of the Canadian Jewish News

<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Winter's Collision Repair
  • Gray Academy
  • Jacqueline Simkin
  • Coughlin Insurance
  • Joyce Rykiss
  • CHW
  • The J Hansen HVAC Group
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • The Lazareck Family
  • Imperial Soap
  • GTP
  • Piston Ring
  • Nick's Inn
  • Lori Shenkarow
  • Roseman Corp.
  • Tyler Bucklaschuk
  • TD Canada Trust
  • Josef Ryan
  • Sobey's
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgliesh
  • The Lipkin Family
  • Booke and Partners
  • Bruce Shefrin Interior Design
  • Fair Service
  • Daien Denture Clinic
  • Thovaldson Care
  • Laufman Reprographics
  • Amalgamated Drywall Systems Ltd.
  • Maric Homes
  • Artista Homes
  • Tradesman Mechanical
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Commercial Pool
  • Lanny Silver
  • Fetching Style
  • Rudy Fidel
  • Shindico
  • Dakota Chiropractic Office
  • Myrna Driedger
  • Shirley and Bob Freedman
  • The Chisick Family
  • Carol and Barry McArton
  • The Shinewald Family
  • Dr. Ted and Harriet Lyons
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • Ixtapa Travel
  • Hill Sokalski Walsh
  • D'arcy and Deacon
  • The Charach Family
  • Esther and Sid Halpern
  • Myers LLP
  • The Lazar Family
  • Dr. Marshall Stitz
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Cdn Visa
  • Kowall Chiropractic Centres
  • Dr. Brent Schacter
  • Doheny Securities
  • Ambassador Mechanical
  • Peerless Garments
  • Pitblado
  • Cindy Lamoureux
  • HUB International
  • Philip Kahanovtich
  • Global Philathropic Canada
  • Sorrento's
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Aziza Family
  • Western Scrap Metals
  • Cascade Financial Group Inc.
  • James Bezan
  • Larry N. Maguire
  • Malaya Marcelino
  • Candice Bergen
  • Safeway
  • John Orlikow
  • Ross Eadie
  • Orthodox Union
  • Saul Simmonds
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Chochy's
  • City Sheet Metal
  • Superlite
  • Stephen Rosenfield
  • Abe and Toni Berenhait
  • The Lofchick Famiy
  • Stringer Rentals
  • John Wishnowski
  • Ingrid Bennet
  • Winnipeg Board of Jewish Education
  • Asper Jewish Community Campus
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Grant Kurian Trucking
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Gulay Plumbing
  • Kristina's
  • West Kildonan Auto
  • The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd.
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
  • Maric Homes
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.