Wednesday, August 09, 2017

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


At the start of WWII, Jewish families were doing anything and everything they could to get their children away from the Nazis. Families got split up as parents could tried to emigrate their children out of Germany and to safety. There were many boys that ended up in America, though mostly only one per family as there were rules about sponsoring immigrants. By this time, some of the boys had experienced a concentration camp, but all of them had experienced discrimination and possibly even violence as things got worse and worse in Germany.

Most of the boys had no idea what had happened to the rest of their family and by the time the US entered the war, all they could think about was getting back to Germany and helping fight against the Nazis. However, being citizens of a country the US was at war with, they weren't all warmly accepted in to service. Most of the boys ended up becoming American citizens, and they ended up at Camp Ritchie. The men from this book were brought to that training facility because they knew German and were taught interrogation techniques. The Ritchie Boys ended up being responsible for many important intelligence finds during the war that likely saved many lives.

This book takes a look a few individual men that were part of the Ritchie Boys. It explains what happened to their families to cause them to seek emigration to the USA, many of the times a heartbreaking story about how life changed under Nazi rule and then how they had to leave their family behind not knowing what would happen for safety. The short time they spend in the USA is described to show how well they integrated, and then the start of the war. Some struggled being German in the USA but they all eventually found their purpose in the Ritchie Boys. Much training was needed, and eventually they all ended up in Europe, at war.

The story of the Ritchie Boys is expertly told in a very compassionate way. You can tell this is a work of passion. It's obvious a lot of research went in to this, as well as trying to figure out how to tell the story of multiple boys in a coherent way without seeming disjointed. This book will appeal to those who are history buffs and those who just want to read a good story. It's very accessible from that way.

I really enjoyed this novel, both the subject and the writing. I'll be looking up other books by this author.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour. Interested in purchasing this book? You can do so here.

First Line: "Loud banging at the front door jolted Martin Selling out of a sound sleep."

About the Author
Bruce Henderson is the author or coauthor of more than twenty nonfiction books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller And the Sea Will Tell. He lives in Menlo Park, California.
Find out more at his website, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm both a history buff and a fan of WWII era stories so I can't believe that I haven't heard of these young men before this book! I'm glad to see it is so readable - I'm looking forward to picking up a copy myself soon.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!