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WW2 “Kissing Sailor” Dies

This photo taken in Times Square on V-J Day is one of the most iconic photos of World War 2. The Life magazine photographer, Alfred Eisenstadt, died in 1995. For many years, the kissing strangers were anonymous, but eventually were identified as Greta Zimmer Friedman, who died in 2016 at age 92, and George Mendonsa, who died February 17, 2019, at age 96. They met again in 2012 at a reunion.

Eisenstadt was a German Jew who served in the Kaiser’s army in World War 1 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1935 to escape Nazi oppression. Friedman was an Austrian Jew whose family emigrated to the U.S. in 1939 to escape Nazi oppression. George Mendonsa served on a destroyer in the Pacific and experienced the Okinawa kamikaze battles.


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