Sons and Soldiers by Bruce Henderson

Sons and Soldiers

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • "An irresistible history of the WWII Jewish refugees who returned to Europe to fight the Nazis.” —NewsdayThey were young Jewish boys who escaped from Nazi-occupied Europe and resettled in America. After the United States entered the war, they returned to fight for their adopted homeland and for the families they had left behind. Their stories tell the tale of one of the U.S. Army’s greatest secret weapons.Sons...

Details Sons and Soldiers

TitleSons and Soldiers
Release DateJul 3rd, 2018
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, War, World War II, Holocaust

Reviews Sons and Soldiers

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    We immigrant newcomers were proud of the contribution we provided in the war effort, although it was not known about or greatly appreciated by many Americans. Even if we were only small pieces in an elaborate jigsaw puzzle that had to be assembled in order to win the war, we German-speaking refugees were like 'natural resources' in America's fight against Hitler and the Nazis." - Martin SellingI had not heard of the Ritchie Boys, newly immigrated...
  • Jill Meyer
    I think most readers of WW2 histories know a bit about the American and British soldiers who translated for the Allies in occupied Germany after the war. These men often did more than just interpret; many were hunters of war criminals and did other investigative work. Most of these men - native German speakers - were Jewish and had left Germany in the 1930's and early 1940's for safety in the United States and Britain. Many left family members be...
  • Emily Onufer
    I received a copy of this book for free through the Goodreads Giveaways program. This book was expertly written, compelling, and compiled a significant amount of research to tell a very important story. My only complaint was that at times, I felt there were too many characters to keep track of easily, and I sometimes found myself flipping back to remind myself of each character's background and story. This book would make a great film - it is a f...
  • Steven Z.
    During World War II there was a little known group of men who were trained at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. Their extensive classwork and field training was designed to prepare them to interrogate German prisoners of war and gather intelligence to be used against Nazi forces. What became known as the “Ritchie Boys” was formed in mid-1942 and was made up of 1985 German born Jews who had immigrated to the United States in response to Nazi persecution...
  • Doug Phillips
    Spend any time in the “History of World War 2” section in a library or a book store (remember those?), and you’ll see a range of fiction and non-fiction works detailing aspects of the war experience. Bruce Henderson took me to a new understanding of relatively unsung heroes with “Sons and Soldiers”.Without reading any reviews of this book (a purposeful strategy), I let the author lead me through this interesting work that consists of se...
  • Lori
    I was a goodreads giveaway winner of this very interesting book. I would give this a 4.5. For years I have been interested in reading about the Holocaust. This book takes a different take on those horrific years. "Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler" this book focuses on a group of Jewish boys who were sent to America to escape the Holocaust they were sent by family...
  • Tammy
    On par with The Boys in the Boat. This is a little known story that deserves to be well known.
  • Dan
    Extraordinary book. This book follows the parallel lives of seven Camp Ritchie boys, from their immigration to America early in WWII, their enlistment into the Army, training at Camp Ritchie in military intelligence, return to Europe during Normandy and subsequent invasions, interrogation of German POWs, discovery of the concentration camps and finally the search for their Jewish relatives many of whom did not survive the concentration camps.The ...
  • Viva
    Fantastic! As someone who has read a lot about WWII, this is the first I've ever read of the Ritchie Boys.There are two components to my praise of this book:1) The writing was well written and easy to read. Very often non-fiction books are boring, long winded or written text book style but this book was written to be read. Once I picked this up I couldn't put it down and had it in my hands or on me waiting to be read for the best of two days. Des...
  • Benjamin baschinsky
    Mr Henderson weaves a great story with a healthy amount of research.I thought it might get redundant, however he advances the story with ease.For those who like little known stories of World War II, this it it !!!
  • Rebecca Hill
    Before the beginning of World War II, a new power was rising in Germany. It was a party that had only one doctrine, and it was willing to annihilate anyone that stood within their path to achieve what they saw as a true and pure race. One where they were the dominating force, subjugating the rest of the world to their will. As the Nazi party rose within the country, and German nationalism rose, there were just as many living with the Germany terr...
  • John
    This book follows the story of some of the Ritchie Boys. They were a number of Jewish teenagers who escaped Nazi Germany in the 1930's and made their way to the United States. There they wound up joining the armed forces and were sent to Camp Ritchie Maryland where they were trained for IPW - Interrogation of Prisoners of War. The book then follows them through D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge and on to the liberation of concentration camps.The boo...
  • Abigail
    This is indeed an untold story. The Richie Boys portrayed in this book are German-Jews who escaped from Germany in their youth and came across to America. When we entered the war these same boys wanted to help their adopted country fight Hitler. The US Army were signing up men who could speak fluent German to join the US troops and help interrogate captured German soldiers. At first I thought that's all they would do, interrogate, but they did so...
  • Janis
    Author Bruce Henderson has once again created a fascinating narrative – in this volume, the story of young German Jewish men who, having escaped Germany, served in the U.S. Army interrogating German POWs to gather intelligence. He follows several of them as they cross Europe, often on the front lines, and describes their successful efforts to collect vital information for the war effort – as well as their efforts to find their own families af...
  • Nissa
    This is such a powerful story that was both engaging and fascinating. The book is quite long, but it didn't feel that way. Immediately, I felt like I belonged in the world of the Ritchie Boys, and I could connect with them right away. The story is at times raw and painful, at times inspiring and thought-provoking. The writing makes the characters and plot shine, and ultimately, it is an excellent historical read. I highly recommend this book to a...
  • Bahramo
    Incredible story. Inspiring & occaisionally frightening. There are sections that transport the reader to a place where you may break out in a cold sweat... a must read for all history lovers.
  • Craig
    A fascinating book about a handful of young Jewish men who escaped Nazi Germany, signed up with the U.S. army, and returned to Europe during WW2 to help interrogate German prisoners. This was definitely a worthwhile read. True, there were some sobering and stomach-churning scenes in which the atrocities of Nazi cruelty to Jews were detailed. But I need to be reminded of just how horrible the Third Reich was. At other points, the book was filled w...
  • Jackaline Rutter
    This just might be the best book I’ve read. Had me in tears. Scary this was not that log ago.
  • Judie
    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 "dictator...
  • Julia
    I hadn’t heard of this unputdownable narrative nonfiction work or the Ritchie Boys, until I saw this was on the new shelf at my public library. (My dad rarely talked about his service in World War II. He was drafted, because as a German Jew he was an “enemy alien,” and would not have been allowed to enlist. As a German, French, Dutch and more speaker, I remember him telling me he was asked to join a program. But he didn’t want to, except ...
  • Nancy
    Okay, wow. There are so many points of view and facets to WWII and this one had me riveted. Admittedly, I mixed up the men until I drew pictures in my head, but it didn’t matter as much as the overall picture. Essentially, there were quite a number of German Jews that immigrated to the US, joined the military, then were trained as interrogators. Nobody knew the nuances, the culture, the psychology better than a former German rejected by his own...
  • Marlene
    Originally published at Reading RealityThe part of World War II history that is outlined in Sons and Soldiers is history that should be more widely known. But just like the story of the Navajo Code Talkers, has been shrouded in secrecy until relatively recently. Hopefully, Sons and Soldiers will be the first book of many to relate this important and fascinating piece of history, and the story will become as well-known as it ought to be.Using diar...
  • Jim
    I was a Goodreads winner of this book. A book about all the cruelty and savagery during WW II but also some aspects of humanity. That human nature is not just black and white but mixed with a lot of gray areas. I have read many books about the war, concentration camps and about the Nazis but this is unique in telling us the story of the Jews who fought with the U.S. Those men are courageous individuals who took a stand by not allowing themselves ...
  • Gordon Grose
    Review: 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. (New York: William Morrow, 2017).Six young German Jewish boys with their families, for the most part, escape the growing menace of Hitler’s National Socialist regime. Intent on first restricting, then destroying, all of Jewry, Hitler sets in motion not only his plan to murder as many Jews as possible...
  • Valerie Campbell Ackroyd
    Meticulously researched, compulsive war memoirsI would not have chosen to read this book myself as I am not one for reading soldiers’ memoirs. I find them too heart rending and have always leaned toward pacifism since reading Vera Brittain;s searing “Testament of Youth” about World War I. This book was chosen by my book club and as I started reading it I was so completely taken in by the stories of five (I think?) young Jewish German boys w...
  • Bruce Katz
    A wonderful book. I had never heard of the so-called Ritchie Boys or indeed that there had been young Jewish males who were able to escape Nazi Germany and then go back later as interrogators with the American army on D-Day and after. Because they were native German speakers and familiar with German culture, society, and idioms, they were brought into a special program that trained them on interrogation techniques. They were mere boys when they l...
  • Cheryl
    Fans of history books will be thrilled with this book. Sons and Soldiers is a true, rare gem! A treasure of a read. This is the first time that I have heard the word Ritchie Boys. Reading how the boys came to be separated from their families to have a chance to live and fight for freedom is amazing. You can't help but think of today's times and the disrespect that people have for the United States. Way back as people migrated to the United States...
  • Michelle
    A part of WWII history that is heart-wrenching and inspiring. This story is a must read! Manny’s story tugged at my heart the most, as I imagined the pain his mother went through sending him away praying for his safety and that it wouldn’t be a forever goodbye (and though he was safe, they never saw each other again). The story of these German-born Jews who were fortunate to emigrate and escape murder and how they chose to go back and fight a...
  • Diana
    This book should be required reading in every History class in America starting TODAY! I had never heard of The Ritchie Boys and their WWII connection. It appears that the US Military thought that maybe some German speakers would be able to help interrogate in the filed & get timely info for the battle commanders in WWII. The Army started looking for young men who could help, and the Ritchie Boys were born. Mainly German born Jews, who became Ame...
  • Suzanne
    During World War II, the allies had a secret weapon:  German-born Jews who volunteered their service in the U.S. military were trained in interrogating prisoners and collecting information.  The 2,000 man team, known as Ritchie Boys, served in European combat and, according to Henderson, were directly responsible for 60% of the intelligence collected there.Bruce Henderson spent years interviewing a handful of former Ritchie Boys, and their st...