top of page



ZPB_Web Graphics-43.png
ZPB_Web Graphics-62.png
ZPB_Web Graphics-51.png
1909:    born in New York State (USA)

1924:    studies at renowned Cornell University

1931:    graduation from law school

1942:    voluntary enlistment in the US army

1942-1944:    military training and service as a lieutenant

June 1944:     landing in Normandy with the 5th US Armoured Division and participation in the liberation of France

Sept. 1944:    death from anti-tank gun hit in Pétange (L)

The scout car a few hours before its destruction in Pétange (Hyman Josefson is top left), Musson September 1944

ZPB_Web Graphics_green-73.png
After I was wounded, I somehow moved out of the dome [...] and crawled into the ditch [...] Our M8 scout car was burning terribly. Lt. Josefson could no longer get out of the combat vehicle.

Cyril J. Mayrose, letter to Camille P. Kohn, May 1985

Hyman Josefson was born in New York State as the son of Romanian Jews. He graduated from school with success and was awarded a scholarship to attend the renowned Cornell University. After studying law, he worked in a social welfare office in New York State. Josefson volunteered to join the US Army in January 1942, a few weeks after the attack on the US military base at Pearl Harbor, as one of 550,000 Jewish soldiers. In 1944 he landed in Normandy as commander of a scout car and successfully participated in the liberation of France. In Pétange, his scout car was hit by a German shell and caught fire. Hyman Josefson was unable to get out and became the first American to die on Luxembourg soil. Although the first US soldier to have died in Luxembourg is commemorated every year in the city, his name remained unknown until 1985, and it was not until 1989 that an initially nameless monument was dedicated to Hyman Josefson and a square named after him.
American soldiers entering Pétange; in the background the burning armoured scout vehicle, Pétange 9 Sept. 1944

[...] dass viru 25 Joer op der Plaz beim Amerikanersteen, wäit vu senger Heemecht, en amerikanesche Jong säi jonkt Liewen huet missten hiergi fir eis Fräiheet. Mir éieren duerch hien dausende vun amerikaneschen Zaldoten, déi hei am Westen hu misse falen, stierwen a verstümmelt ginn [...] Mat groussem Respekt verneige mir eis virun hirem Affer.

Léo Keiser, speech, 9 Sept. 1969

Monument to the then still unknown Hyman Josefson erected in Pétange after the liberation of Luxembourg
bottom of page