Sons and Soldiers

Sons and Soldiers

The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned With the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler

Book - 2017
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The little-known saga of young German Jews, dubbed The Ritchie Boys, who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s, came of age in America, and returned to Europe at enormous personal risk as members of the U.S. Army to play a key role in the Allied victory. Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to bring this never-before-told chapter of the Second World War to light.
Publisher: New York, New York : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780062419095
9780062803849
Characteristics: xii, 429 pages :,illustrations, portraits ;,24 cm.

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USAF1969
Jan 11, 2018

This Bruce Henderson book is an astounding historical study. It is about Jewish boys who escaped Nazi Germany, came to the United States, became citizens, joined the US Army, were trained as interrogators, and placed in front-line units to gather intelligence from captured German prisoners of war and local inhabitants. I am an avid reader of World War II history books and had never heard of this group of people; never even occurred to me that such a group might exist. I am amazed at the creativity and foresight of the Army to see the potential for these people as valuable intelligence assets in the front lines and in setting up the training programs to bring their skills and desires to help defeat Hitler and find out what happened to their families. The book is mesmerizing as the story is told through the eyes of multiple graduates of the Army program as they describe both their experiences as interrogators, but also their heart-wrenching stories of growing up normally in Germany, only to see their lives turned upside down with the rise of Hitler and the Nazis's. Well worth reading as history, and as a glimpse of what happens to real people, including young children, when people who spew ethnic hatred come into power, surround themselves with like-minded people, demand unquestioned loyalty, demonize their own citizens and opponents, and make laws that normalize the estrangement, isolation, displacement and even death of fellow human beings.

g
GODBlessesme
Nov 14, 2017

excellent read of history and a story that indeed needed to be told, more from the Greatest Generation!

j
johnbacich
Oct 11, 2017

The author is accumulating a whole shelf of good books to read. A must for WW2 fans.

w
wyenotgo
Sep 23, 2017

Reminiscent of "The Women who Wrote the War", to the extent that it's highly journalistic in style and content. Henderson traces the early lives a half dozen Jewish boys and young men (i.e. their escape from Nazi-controlled Europe) and follows their transition into U.S. soldiers and their return to play a vital part in defeating the Hitler regime. The most remarkable aspect of their story is surely the sheer courage it took for them to return to the field of battle, knowing that were they to be captured, they would almost certainly not be treated as ordinary POWs but rather would be killed, as indeed some of them were.

m
mikeedm
Sep 16, 2017

Interesting well told story of refugees who escaped Nazi persecution and returned to Europe as US soldiers in WWII.

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