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Sons and soldiers : the untold story of the…
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Sons and soldiers : the untold story of the Jews who escaped the Nazis and… (vuoden 2018 painos)

– tekijä: Bruce Henderson

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1877110,257 (4.33)4
As Jewish families were trying desperately to get out of Europe during the menacing rise of Hitler's Nazi party, some chose to send their young sons away to uncertain futures in America, perhaps never to see them again. As these boys became young men, they were determined to join the fight in Europe. In 1942, the U.S. Army unleashed one of its greatest secret weapons in the battle to defeat Adolf Hitler: training nearly 2,000 of these German-born Jews in special interrogation techniques and making use of their mastery of the German language, history, and customs. Known as the Ritchie Boys after the Maryland camp where they were trained, they were sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe, where they interrogated German POWs and gathered crucial intelligence that saved American lives and helped win the war. Though they knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured, the Ritchie Boys eagerly joined the fight to defeat Hitler. As they did, many of them did not know the fates of their own families left behind in occupied Europe. Taking part in every major campaign in Europe, they collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions. A postwar Army report found that more than sixty percent of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys. Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to bring this chapter of the Second World War to light.… (lisätietoja)
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Teoksen nimi:Sons and soldiers : the untold story of the Jews who escaped the Nazis and returned with the U.S. Army to fight Hitler
Kirjailijat:Bruce Henderson
Info:New York, NY : William Morrow, [2018]
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Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler (tekijä: Bruce Henderson)

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Lasciarono la Germania per salvarsi. Tornarono per combattere i nazisti.
Negli anni trenta un gruppo di ragazzi ebrei riuscì ad abbandonare la Germania e a iniziare una nuova vita in America. Nonostante il permesso di arruolarsi nell’esercito, furono sempre considerati come stranieri di cui diffidare. Finché nel 1942 il Pentagono non comprese quale incredibile risorsa potessero rappresentare. Quegli uomini conoscevano la lingua, la cultura e la psicologia del nemico meglio di qualsiasi americano ed erano, più di chiunque altro, motivati a lottare contro il regime antisemita di Hitler. Fu così che fecero ritorno in Europa come “Ritchie Boys”, un’unità segreta dell’esercito americano. Addestrati nell’arte di interrogare prigionieri, duemila soldati ebrei vennero rispediti nella Germania nazista, in prima linea sui campi di battaglia. Il loro scopo era ottenere dai prigionieri di guerra informazioni vitali sui movimenti delle truppe e le strutture di comando: un’operazione che ebbe un enorme successo e si dimostrò decisiva per la vittoria delle forze Alleate. Alcuni di quegli eroi sono ancora vivi. (fonte: amazon)
  MemorialeSardoShoah | May 4, 2020 |
La historia poco conocida de las personas que tuvieron que escapar del régimen nazi por su condición de judíos, a pesar de nacer y considerarse alemanes. De cómo vivían y escaparon a través de la Europa ocupada, pudieron llegar a Estados Unidos y decidieron unirse al ejército americano para luchar contra el nazismo. Se retrata su entrenamiento el el Camp Ritchie y su lucha a través de Frrancia, Países Bajos y la llegada a Alemania. Un merecido recuerdo a los 1985 hombres (aquí conocemos los pormenores de cinco de ellos) que expulsados por ser judíos decidieron hacer su contribución en esta guerra.Un relato que se lee como una emocionante novela, aunque suene a tópico: la realidad supera la ficción. ( )
  maskarakan | Oct 21, 2019 |
I am far from being a World War II historian, but I have a particular interest in the war’s European theatre and have read a few books on the fighting that took place in that part of the world. Still, for whatever reason, I had not heard of the exploits and important contributions to the war effort made in Europe by a unique group of young men known as the Ritchie Boys before picking up Bruce Henderson’s Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler.

As Hitler’s intentions toward the Jews became more and more obvious, Jewish parents began to scramble for ways to get their families out of Germany and the rest of Nazi-occupied Europe before it was too late. But there were quotas and other delays to deal with in countries such as the United States and Canada. Ultimately, because obtaining visas and otherwise negotiating all of the paperwork involved in that whole exercise was such a time-consuming process, many thousands of Jews wanting to escape never made it. However, many desperate Jewish families were able to get at least their sons to the United States – and many of these brand-new U.S. citizens could not wait to return to Germany to fight the Nazis who had taken so much from them and their families.

Rather surprisingly (and I’m honestly surprised here because the military does not always work this way), someone in the U.S. Army had the foresight to understand just how big an asset these Ritchie Boys could be if used as interrogators of captured German prisoners. They knew the language, they intimately understood the culture that had spawned their prisoners, and they knew just how to provoke (or trick) those prisoners into revealing much more than they wanted to reveal to their interrogators. And they knew precisely how best to put the pieces of gathered intelligence together in order to do the most damage to the German army possible.

Ritchie Boy intelligence teams were assigned to all the major combat units in Europe. They jumped out of airplanes in France with the 82nd Airborne, they fought their way from Normandy through Belgium and the Netherlands, and they were deep inside Germany when the war in Europe finally ended. It is estimated that some sixty percent of the intelligence gathered in Europe during World War II originated with the Ritchie Boys. Not only did these men face certain death if captured and identified as German Jews by the German army, they faced a similar threat from U.S. soldiers who often found it difficult to distinguish them from the German infiltrators who sometimes wore the uniforms of captured or killed American soldiers. Despite these special dangers, the Ritchie Boys contributed greatly to the Allied effort to defeat Hitler, and they saved thousands of lives in the process.

Bottom Line: Sons and Soldiers reveals a long-kept secret about a group of young men who deserve much more honor and credit for what they accomplished during World War II than they have received. Bruce Henderson’s account of the war experiences of six of these men is well researched and reads almost like a war thriller at times. What the Ritchie Boys did was remarkable, and it is a shame that it took this long for a book like this one to be written about them. ( )
  SamSattler | Sep 2, 2019 |
When Gunther Stern was in school in Germany, the students were assigned to cut out pages from their books and replace them with new pages. He realized the pages being taken out of the books all dealt with major accomplishments by Jews. Later on, while he was in college in the United States and was called “Guy,” he had the opportunity to interview German novelist Thomas Mann, winner of the1929 Nobel Prize in literature , who told him "dictators can never be appeased because they will never be satisfied with the territorial gains." Mann also discussed advocacy for national health insurance in the United States: “A democracy is only strong if every citizen is guaranteed his own social well-being, which must include affordable medical treatment, a chance for an education, and a pension...I wish for young people like you to have a tuition-free college education.”
While still in Europe, Martin Selling was incarcerated at Dachau. The camp was a hierarchy of violence: the young German soldiers were subject to such harsh treatment by their leaders that they were quick to vent their pent-up anger on inmates. The process reminded Martin of training attack dogs. After he was able to leave Dachau, he went to England awaiting a visa to come to the US. He was placed in a refugee camp there. Two months later, England was at war. He and the other thousands of the German Jews of the camp were classified as "enemy aliens." A British army unit came to the camp and set up a special radio monitoring system. There were problems with the system, but the British refused to listen to suggestions from the young men and the operation was ended.
Victor Brombert, while attending a Pennsylvania boarding school in early 1941, was invited to a women’s club luncheon. When he answered their questions about Europe, the women were polite but didn’t believe him. They liked his comments about how grateful he was that he and his family were safely in America but when he said he hoped the US would get into the war and help defeat Hitler their attitude changed. They felt that he was misinformed or exaggerating. He then began to understand isolationism. After Pearl Harbor, when he gave the valedictorian speech at his graduation, he said the same things but the audience of students, parents, and instructors wildly applauded him even though he had said hardly anything about Japan.
After arriving in the United States in 1939, Werner Angress volunteered for the Army and was inducted in 1941. During training at Fort Mead, no one in the division seemed bothered by his German accent. In June 1942 the company moved to another camp near Jacksonville, Florida. Since he hadn't become a naturalized citizen, he automatically became an enemy alien. The men in his division were treated like menial workers and insulted by the other soldiers. They were transferred to Ft. Richie, Maryland. where they secretly trained and then sent in groups of two or three to join European-based units where they would serve in the front lines to interview German prisoners soon after capture.

Because of the demand, those who graduated from the course were usually promoted to one of four lower ranks. But at the completion of his two courses, Brombert, at age twenty, went from private to Master Sergeant, a promotion usually attained by career soldiers after years in the Army. In early May 1944, he was tapped to speak to a large group of officers about what they might find in France as they moved inland after the invasion. The area for the mythical town for the practice was Calais where the distance across the channel is the narrowest and where many, including Hitler and his army generals, thought was most likely place for the Allied landings. Brombert was not familiar with that area, so he chose a region he knew well: Normandy. The area he had chosen was Omaha Beach.
While being interviewed, a former concentration camp guard said, with no discernible emotion, he frequently volunteered for the execution squad. Stern asked him why he volunteered. The former guard shrugged and said. “If I hadn't, someone else would have." He explained that there was a bonus for volunteering. “ I would get a pass to go to Berlin where the great concert halls are still open. I love concerts, especially Beethoven and Mozart.” Stern was shaken by the prisoner’s admissions, especially by his matter-of-fact demeanor – so conversational, with little prodding, no apparent guilt. Because he was so immersed in Nazism, the German was unable to recognize the enormity of his own actions.
The teams often had the freedom to operate independently. One night Angress decided to join one of the regiments battalions in the hope that they would take some new prisoners he could interrogate. When he found no new prisoners waiting at the command post he moved even closer to the front lines. Shortly after midnight he witnessed his first nighttime German infantry attack by the light of rocket launchers. Cheering and shouting encouragement to one another, SS soldiers charged uphill, straight into the machine gunfire of the paratroopers. Even as the German bodies began to stack up, the SS kept coming, trying frantically to reach the crest and overwhelm the US company.
Suddenly, two Americans ran past. Angress headed to the rear. He recognized them as the captain, who was the company commander, and his top sergeant. They were fleeing to safety! This meant the machine-gun company was now leaderless. The young Jewish lieutenant ran to lead the company yelling, “I have command.” He issued all the right commands. None of the Americans broke their positions in the attack was thwarted. Angress crept from one dead German to the next, searching their pockets for documents that might contain important information.
On December 15, 1944, Brombert and another member of the group made a special trip to Army Headquarter in Bastogne about a large buildup of German troops in the area. The colonel in charge discounted the information and said, “Our lines are thin. We'll just have to sit and wait. Anyhow, it's probably a diversionary action. Forget it.” The next morning around 5:30 AM they heard and saw what he thought was thunder accompany by flashes of lightning. It was the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge.
After the end of hostilities, the Ritchie Boys were present at the liberation of the concentration camps. At Buchenwald, Stephan Lewy and a group of soldiers took several empty trucks to Weimar and told the mayor he needed 100 men a day to come to the camps with him, clean the camps, and bury the dead. When the townspeople saw the surroundings, they immediately began denying responsibility. Some went so far as to complain about the smell, the result of blind obedience to authority.
Stern arrived three days after its liberation. When he had interviewed individual Third Reich soldiers, they were unwilling or unable to see the enormity of what they had done or accept any responsibility. They all claim to have been lowly functionaries only following orders.
Residents of Ludwigslust, especially those who held some official position or been members of the Nazi party, were required to dig 200 graves in the manicured gardens of the Ottoman palace located there. Furthermore the entire adult population had to attend the mass funeral service after which they would walk between the rows of graves paying their respects to the victims. Each of the deceased lay next to his or her grave, the bodies wrapped in white sheets locals were required to provide from home, with their faces uncovered. Dozens of captured German officers, including five generals, were also made to attend.
The end of the book is a brief account of the lives of the six Ritchie Boys included in the book after the war. It also includes a roster of all those who served in the unit including a list of those who died during the war.
I bought this book after hearing the author speak about it. In the audience that night were two Richie boys who comments supported and added to the story. ( )
  Judiex | Apr 24, 2018 |
Maybe you, like me, have read so many World War II novels you’re feeling “oversaturated” (did I make up that word?) with them. SONS AND SOLDIERS is different. First, it’s fact, not a novel. Second, it should make you want to turn its pages like it is your first World War II book because this is probably a story you haven’t heard before.

This is a true story about the “Ritchie Boys,” six of them in particular. They were Jews who grew up in 1930s Germany when it was being changed by the Nazi party. SONS AND SOLDIERS follows these six from then to their escaping Germany for the United States to their eventual service in the U.S. Army. At Camp Ritchie in Maryland, each of them learned to interrogate German POWs (and French people in some cases). In this way, these men become heroes for the valuable information they extracted that helped us win World War II.

SONS AND SOLDIERS is not just a book about war and it’s not even just a book about the injustices the Nazi party imposed on Jews. This book is also full of real incidences in the lives of each of the six Ritchie Boys from the time they entered the army to the end of the war with Germany.

Read SONS AND SOLDIERS for its look into the little-known experiences of the so-called “enemy aliens,” Jewish Germans who became U.S. citizens to interrogate German POWs.

I won this book through JathanandHeather.com. ( )
  techeditor | Jan 6, 2018 |
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As Jewish families were trying desperately to get out of Europe during the menacing rise of Hitler's Nazi party, some chose to send their young sons away to uncertain futures in America, perhaps never to see them again. As these boys became young men, they were determined to join the fight in Europe. In 1942, the U.S. Army unleashed one of its greatest secret weapons in the battle to defeat Adolf Hitler: training nearly 2,000 of these German-born Jews in special interrogation techniques and making use of their mastery of the German language, history, and customs. Known as the Ritchie Boys after the Maryland camp where they were trained, they were sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe, where they interrogated German POWs and gathered crucial intelligence that saved American lives and helped win the war. Though they knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured, the Ritchie Boys eagerly joined the fight to defeat Hitler. As they did, many of them did not know the fates of their own families left behind in occupied Europe. Taking part in every major campaign in Europe, they collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions. A postwar Army report found that more than sixty percent of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys. Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to bring this chapter of the Second World War to light.

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