Sons and Soldiers

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

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Title: Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler
Published by: William Morrow
Release Date: 07/25/2017
ISBN13: 978-0062419095


Sons and Soldiers begins in Germany during the menacing rise of Hitler and the Nazis, as Jewish families were trying desperately to get out of Europe. It tells the heartbreaking stories of parents choosing to send their young sons away to safety but uncertain futures in America, knowing they would perhaps never see them again. When these boys came of age, they were determined to join the fight in Europe. Utilizing their unique mastery of the enemy’s language, culture, and psychology, the U.S. Army trained them to be interrogators of German prisoners.

Though these young men — named the Ritchie Boys after Camp Ritchie, Maryland, where they trained — knew what the Nazis might do to them if they were captured, they were willing to be sent in small, elite teams to join every combat unit in Europe. They collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions, all of which saved American lives and helped the Allies win the war. A postwar Army report found that more than sixty percent of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys.

Sons and Soldiers draws on original interviews and extensive archival research to vividly recreate the stories of six of these men, tracing their stories from childhood through their escapes from Europe, their feats and sacrifices during the war, and finally their desperate attempts to find their missing loved ones. Sons and Soldiers is an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism that will not soon be forgotten.


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USA Today

“Thrilling…richly detailed…a spellbinding account of extraordinary men at war.”


“Bruce Henderson is a pro at distilling mountains of research into a smoothly told tale, and here he has found an irresistible story arc.”

New York Post

“The last great unknown tale of World War II. Harrowing adventures of the Ritchie Boys…”

Washington Independent Review of Books

“A gripping narrative of wartime life, love, loss, and death . . . in telling [the Ritchie Boys’] largely forgotten story so eloquently, Henderson has done them proud.”

Boston Globe

“A magnificent story…one of courage and determination, revenge and redemption, grippingly told in a fast-moving narrative.”


“Sparkling account of young Jewish-German exiles deployed…in the fight against Nazi Germany.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In a highly readable, often thrilling narrative, prolific nonfiction author Henderson focuses on the members of an elite, 2000-man unit who escaped from Europe and by one means or another made it to the United States…A gripping addition to the literature of the period and an overdue tribute to these unique Americans.” 

Publishers Weekly

“Humanizes the story of the Ritchie Boys…ably researched and written account of a previously unknown facet of the American-Jewish dime

Jewish Book Council

“Henderson is a wonderful storyteller who has written a never-before-told chapter of the Second World War. Sons and Soldiers is a must-read.”