A 16-year old lion from Luxembourg
Claude Lowenstein (lying down at lower left behind the British-made Bren light machine gun, notably the other weapons are captured German models), was born on 12 February 1928 in Luxembourg, making him a preteen when the Germans thundered across the country in a single day in 1940. Soon, the Germans instituted anti-Jewish measures and young Claude was exiled to an internment camp in France with his family.
Allowed to work as a farm hand in the countryside, as noted by the USHMM:
In July 1944 a cell from the underground Franc-Tireurs et Partisans raided the farm to search for gasoline. They also asked the Jewish farm hands if they cared to join the cell. All 15 teenagers left with the partisans. England gave the partisans orders for their operations, guns and ammunition which they provided by parachute drop. In one operation the partisans climbed a mountain over-looking a road and dropped home-made grenades on an open truck filled with German soldiers thereby disrupting the convoy.
Just 16, Claude participated in the liberation of Lyon and other fighting as the Allies moved into the country from Normandy and the Riviera.
By the autumn of 1944, De Gaulle merged both the nationalist French Forces of the Interior (Forces françaises de l’intérieur) and the now 100,000-stong communist FTP, which Claude was a part of, into the overall French Army under Gen. Jean de Lattre de Tassigny.
As the Germans withdrew East, Claude was reunited with his family in early 1945.
Pushing a hardy 17, he joined the reformed Luxembourg army (whose coat of arms includes a lion) and assisted in the occupation of Bitburg near the Luxembourg border before the war ended.
The 2nd Battalion of the Luxembourg Army took command of the Caserne in 1945 and would remain in the area until 1952, two years longer than the armistice required.
Claude emigrated to the U.S. in 1956.