Religious Identity During Wartime
It was difficult for Jewish servicemen to escape being labeled as Jews. The Canadian Armed Forces required all personnel to state their religion on their enlistment forms. Some Jews were concerned about how they would be treated if they disclosed this information, so they deliberately left it out. If a person included their religious identity on the enlistment form, “J”, “H”, or “HEB” was printed on the dog tags to identify them as being Jewish. By 1942, “OD”, meaning “Other Denomination”, was used instead, in an attempt to avoid discrimination by Canadian troops, as well as the potential persecution and torture of Jewish servicemen held in POW camps.