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Jewish Woman from Iconic WWII Photo Dies at 92

The Kiss (Photo: US Navy/Victor Jorgensen)

Of the iconic images that illustrate the 20th century, perhaps one of the most well-known shows a young couple celebrating the end of World War II with a kiss. The woman in the photograph, The Times of Israel reports, was Greta Zimmer Friedman, a Jewish Holocaust refugee who recently passed away at the age of 92:

Friedman, was a 21-year-old dental assistant in a nurse’s uniform on Aug. 14, 1945, known as V-J Day, the day the Japanese surrendered. People spilled out into the streets from restaurants, bars and movie theaters in New York City when they heard the news. That’s when George Mendonsa spotted Friedman, spun her around and planted a kiss on her...

Friedman was born in a small town outside Vienna and moved to the US with two sisters in 1939 as conditions worsened for Jews under Nazi rule. A third sister fled to Mandate Palestine and her parents were killed in the Holocaust, according to Lawrence Verria, co-author of “The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo that Ended World War II.”

Eisenstaedt’s photo was first published in Life, buried deep within the magazine’s pages. Over the years, the photo gained recognition, and several people claimed to be the kissing couple. In an August 1980 issue of Life, 11 men and three women said they were the subjects. It was years until Mendonsa and Friedman were confirmed to be the couple...

Tags: History

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