From the Holocaust to D-Day to the Holy Land
Stand for Israel | June 6, 2023
As we remember the brave Allied troops who fought on D-Day, 79 years ago on June 6, 1944, we’d like to tell you about a remarkable man who not only fought against the Nazis at Normandy that day, but who survived the Holocaust as a child and who, after making aliyah, now lives in Israel as a beloved radio host.
Born Wolfgang Billig in 1924, Walter Bingham grew up in a Jewish family in Germany. A Zionist from an early age – even preparing for farming life in the Holy Land – the boy saw the Nazis’ hatred firsthand, first with book burnings and then with their anti-Semitic policies. Walter’s father was arrested and died during the Holocaust. Walter’s mother survived, as did the boy, who was brought to safety in England through the Kindertransport.
Once in England, Walter joined the British Army, serving as an ambulance driver. Walter saw action on the frontlines on D-Day, including being hit by German machine gun fire. Despite his orderly being killed and his ambulance being destroyed, Walter braved the battle and saved lives of the wounded.
Walter married his wife, also a war refugee, in England and that is where they made their life. Working as a broadcaster and journalist there, Walter made aliyah in 2004 as a widower, where he still works as a radio host. In fact, Walter made the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest radio talk show host. He is also Israel’s oldest living journalist, and in 2018, Walter became the world’s oldest skydiver when he jumped from a plane above the Holy Land of Israel that he calls home. From the Holocaust to D-Day to Israel, Walter Bingham is truly an inspiration for us all.
And, as we remember those who fought on D-Day, let us hear from Walter Bingham, from an article by our friends at The Jerusalem Post, his thoughts on this moment in history, as a Jew:
“52 Jewish men died in the Normandy landings,” he added. “I took part in some of those battles, and by the grace of God survived them unscathed…”
“I knew as a Jew that my father had already been deported to Poland, and I knew that my mother and other Jews were still in Germany, so I fought to get into Germany and find my family… I didn’t do it because I had to do it, I had a reason,” he explained.