This small park in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg is dedicated to the memory of Private Louis Sobel, a Brooklyn native and veteran of World War I. Sobel was killed in action at the Second Battle of the Marne on July 18, 1918. At the time of this park’s dedication on May 15, 1938, it was the first public space in New York City to be named for a Jewish war hero.
Louis Sobel lived in Brooklyn until the outbreak of the war, when he left to go overseas with the Seventh Regiment Infantry in the Third Division. His was one of nine U.S. divisions fighting in the Second Battle of the Marne, a World War I battle considered by many to mark a key turning point in the war. At the time of Sobel’s death, his regiment, which had previously been involved in mostly defensive operations, was under the command of Major General Joseph T. Dickman. The Battle took place in the Aisne-Marne Sector of the Western Front, located 75 miles northeast of Paris.