Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler

Bruce Henderson. Morrow, $28.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-06-241909-5
Military historian Henderson (Rescue at Los Baños) shares the story of eight of the 1,985 young German and Austrian Jewish men who escaped the Nazis, emigrated to America, joined the U.S. Army, and returned to Europe to interrogate German POWs, largely during the last year of WWII. Called the Ritchie Boys after the military camp where they underwent eight weeks of intensive training, this group of young men proved highly effective in their work because of their accent-free German and knowledge of the nuances of German culture. Yet their activities were also risky because they were Jewish. For example, in December 1944 two Ritchie Boys, Kurt Jacobs and Murray Zappler, were captured in the Ardennes while fighting alongside other American soldiers and were separated from their comrades and shot. Henderson does well to humanize the story of the boys, although he occasionally gets bogged down in the details of particular battles. He also opens the book by overstating the number of victims of the November 1938 German national pogrom known as Kristallnacht. Despite these shortcomings, this is an ably researched and written account of a previously unknown facet of the American-Jewish dimension of WWII. Agent: Writers House. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 07/25/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-5384-1963-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-268199-7
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-241911-8
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-06-241910-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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