In addition to serving in the Allied armies, Jews also saw action in the German and Finnish units, and after the war ended Jewish commandos hunted down the Nazis.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
German Jews who helped the US Army defeat Hitler were shunned after the war because of their enemy accents
The last great, untold story of WWII is the heroism of the young German Jews who fled Nazi Germany in the early 1930s when Hitler came to power and returned to Europe as members of the U.S. Army's elite group, the Ritchie Boys. They were highly intelligent, trained interrogators of German POWs and the U.S. Army's greatest secret weapon in the war to defeat Hitler. 'In the course of the war, tens of thousands of newly captured Third Reich soldiers were interrogated by teams of these German Jewish soldiers. A classified postwar report by the army found that nearly 60& of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys', author Bruce Henderson writes in his highly compelling Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the US Army to Fight Hitler, published by William Morrow.
Jewish avengers unapologetic for targeting Nazis after WWII
Seventy years after the most daring attempt of Jewish Holocaust survivors to seek revenge, the leader of the plot has only one simple regret — that to his knowledge he didn't actually kill any Nazis. Joseph Harmatz is one of the few remaining Jewish "Avengers" who carried out a mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 that sickened more than 2,200 Germans but ultimately caused no known deaths. A recently declassified U.S. military report has only added to the mystery of why the brazen operation did not kill Nazis, because it shows the amount of arsenic used should have been fatal to tens of thousands.
The Jews Who Fought Back: Jewish partisans were among the deadliest resistance fighters
According to one familiar narrative about the Holocaust, millions of Jews passively went to the Nazi death camps likes lambs to the slaughter, unable to fight back against oppression and genocide. The problem is—that story isn`t true. More than 30,000 Jews joined armed resistance movements throughout occupied Europe during World War II. Not only did they face death from the Germans and their European allies, they often endured dangerous anti-Semitism within their own partisan groups. Yet despite these obstacles, Jewish partisans were among the most successful resistance fighters of the war.
How the Jews Defeated Hitler: Exploding the Myth of Jewish Passivity in the Face of Nazism
The apparent lack of Jewish resistance to the Holocaust has long been troubling. Political science professor Benjamin Ginsberg proposes a new way of understanding what actually happened: Jews did resist, not so much in the impossible environments of Nazi-occupied Europe but from elsewhere. Jews took leading roles in Britain`s codebreaking program and America`s nuclear project, eagerly served in the U.S. and Soviet military and designed some of Russia`s best weapons, including the T-34 tank.
Ritchie Boys - Jewish WWII soldiers - tell of brushes with Nazis, and guarding Alfred Jodl
The Nazi general wanted to use the bathroom. WWII in Europe had just ended. And U.S. Army Captain Seymour Steinberg figured it was fine. But as Oberstgeneral Alfred Jodl, one of Hitler`s top aides, vanished into the bathroom, Steinberg`s blood went cold. A German admiral had made the same request an hour before and had killed himself in a bathroom. If Jodl did the same thing, Steinberg was in big trouble. He dashed into the bathroom. He broke down the door. And there was Jodl sitting on the can. "Is anything wrong?" asked Jodl. Steinberg and other Ritchie Boys mark the 70th anniversary of the opening of the secret WWII military intelligence school at Camp Ritchie, Md.
Jerry Lieberman served with the Ritchie Boys - German Jews who fled and joined U.S. Army intelligence
It was the perfect revenge. They were Jews who fled Nazi persecution and came to America, where they joined or were drafted into the U.S. Army. Because they knew the enemy better than anyone they were sent to a Maryland military intelligence training center called Camp Ritchie and taught to interrogate or wage psychological warfare against the Nazis. History knows them as the Ritchie Boys. Guy Stern was one of them: "We fought an American war. We fought an intensely personal war. We fought with weapons of an intelligence soldier with a missionary zeal."
Exhibit recalls how American Jewish soldiers had to fight the anti-Semitism in the U.S., before taking on the Nazis
Jewish soldiers' dog tags in the U.S. Army had the letter "H" for "Hebrew" - getting them regularly into fights with their fellow soldiers. That's one of stories you'll learn at the "Ours to Fight For: American Jews in the Second World War" -exhibit, which will be on show through May 8, 2011, at the National World War II Museum.
Two books by Germans who fled to Britain to fight against Nazi Germany
Herman Rothman, who came to England aged 14 on the Kindertransport, was among those 10,000 Germans and Austrians who stepped forward for Britain to fight against the Nazi war machine. In October 1945, Rothman and a group of other German Jews were given a top-secret task: to translate the political and personal wills of Adolf Hitler. Rothman, author of "Hitler's Will," explained: "I wanted to do my very best for the British war effort. There was no question... the Hitler regime would exterminate people who were opposed to it." Another German who fought for Britain was Claus Leopold Octavio Ascher, author of "German Schoolboy, British Commando."
Jews who hunted down and executed SS men - True WW2 story behind Inglourious Basterds
Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds about a Jewish militia that killed Nazis in World War II is not that far-fetched. A real-life team of Jewish soldiers hunted down SS officers in Austria after the war in an operation called "Nakam" (revenge), reveals Chaim Miller. "We were soldiers in the Jewish Brigade group of the British army... we went in groups of 3 to secretly search them out. At first they thought they were simply dealing with the British military police. They got a shock when we later showed them our Stars of David. But by then, it was already too late for them. We took them to some woods... They remained in the woods forever."
The real Inglourious Basterds: Britain's secret Jewish commandos
The commando, a balaclava over his head and his face blacked up with camouflage, clung to the rope as he edged up over the top of the cliff on the coast a few miles from Dieppe. It was December 26 1943, and his unit was on a mission to explore beaches as possible sites for a mass landing in Nazi-occupied France. Suddenly he saw a light and a patrol of German soldiers, 15 in all, advancing in his direction, rifles at the ready. If this had been a scene from the film Inglourious Basterds, then the commando would have massacred each and every one of them with his Sten gun. But the reality 65 years ago on that cliff top was very different.
Jewish World War II fighter museum plans move on after 5-year delay
5 years after planning started, a museum project marking the role of 1.5 million Jewish soldiers in World War II has yet to get off the ground, complained veterans before the Knesset Public Petitions Committee. But the muscle behind the museum's establishment, Brig.-Gen. Zvi Kan-Tor, CEO of the Association for Establishing the Museum of the Jewish Soldier in WWII, said that the situation will soon change completely. "Queen Esther made a miracle and saved the Jewish people 2,000 years ago, and we're still celebrating Purim," said one Red Army veteran, adding that 1.5m Jews fought against the Nazis, "after 60 years, who remembers them?"
Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany
After U.S. forces freed France in 1944, Marthe Cohn enlisted in the French army. Her skills in German attracted intelligence officials, and soon she was trying to cross into nazi territory. Ultimately, after 13 attempts, she was able to sneak onto a rural German road in between watchful sentinels. That began her year-long adventure as a spy, posing as a German nurse to collect data on the whereabouts of Nazi forces. She recounts the time she helped a sick Nazi soldier back to his barracks on the Siegfried Line, a series of hidden forts and tank obstacles along Nazi Germany's border.
World War II documentary: Hitler's Jewish Soldiers by Larry Price
Adolf Hitler's mighty wehrmacht had a fair number of men with Jewish ancestry as thousands of so-called mischlinge filled the ranks of various German armed forces. These half-, quarter-, eighth- and so-on Jews were eagerly drafted by the Germans in late 1930s to speed up rearmament. The interviews provide a certain amount of self-justification and rationalization with just as much cold, calculated observation about what life was really like for them. Some of them were actual poster faces for the wehrmacht; others lied about their "race"; others simply put up by a policy that later become famous in the U.S. military: don't ask, don't tell.
Jews fight alongside Nazi soldiers in the Finnish frontline (Article no longer available from the original source)
During the 1940 war between Finland and Russia (Winter War) Finnish Jews fought alongside their countrymen. But most surprising they fought in World War II alongside Nazi Germany on the Russian front, as Finland allied itself with the Nazis. The Finnish govt afforded them full civil rights throughout the war despite pressure from the Nazis. Today's community has a memory of a "field synagogue" built by Finnish soldiers in which they could conduct services alongside Waffen-SS units. And a Jewish soldier who defied death to rescue a battalion of SS soldiers pinned down by enemy fire. Offered an Iron Cross he refused, in flawless German.
Caught in the middle: part-Jewish Germans served in Nazi army (Article no longer available from the original source)
Filmmaker Price is the director of "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers," a documentary film featuring interviews with five Mischlinge - Nazi term for Germans of partial Jewish ancestry - who served in the German armed forces, Wehrmacht, during WWII. Historian Rigg estimates that at least 150,000 men of Jewish origin served in the German army during WW2. Arno Spitz, a German paratroop officer who was awarded three Iron Crosses for bravery, was raised as a Christian. When captured by American troops at the end of the war, however, he informed them that his Jewish father had fled to the U.S.