Rescued from the Reich: How One of Hitler’s Soldiers Saved the Lubavitcher Rebbe

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9780300104486: Rescued from the Reich: How One of Hitler’s Soldiers Saved the Lubavitcher Rebbe
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When Hitler invaded Warsaw in the fall of 1939, hundreds of thousands of civilians—many of them Jewish—were trapped in the besieged city. The Rebbe Joseph Schneersohn, the leader of the ultra-orthodox Lubavitcher Jews, was among them. Followers throughout the world were filled with anguish, unable to confirm whether he was alive or dead. Working with officials in the United States government, a group of American Jews initiated what would ultimately become one of the strangest—and most miraculous—rescues of World War II.

The escape of Rebbe Schneersohn from Warsaw has been the subject of speculation for decades. Historian Bryan Mark Rigg has now uncovered the true story of the rescue, which was propelled by a secret collaboration between American officials and leaders of German military intelligence. Amid the fog of war, a small group of dedicated German soldiers located the Rebbe and protected him from suspicious Nazis as they fled the city together. During the course of the mission, the Rebbe learned the shocking truth about the leader of the rescue operation, the decorated Wehrmacht soldier Ernst Bloch: he was himself half-Jewish, and a victim of the rising tide of German antisemitism.

A harrowing story about identity and moral responsibility, Rescued from the Reich is also a riveting narrative history of one of the most extraordinary rescue missions of World War II.

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From the Inside Flap:

"A penetrating account of an unknown, fascinating tale of intrigue--the near impossible rescue of a great spiritual leader from Nazi-controlled Poland. The Rebbe’s Rescue is suspenseful, authoritative and well written."--David Kranzler, emeritus professor of history at the City University of New York and author of Thy Brother’s Blood: The Orthodox Jewish Response during the Holocaust

About the Author:

Bryan Mark Rigg teaches history at American Military University and Southern Methodist University. His previous book, Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military won the prestigious Colby Award from the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium. His work has been featured on programs including NBC Dateline and Fox News. Rigg served as a volunteer in the Israeli Army and as an officer in the U. S. Marine Corps, and he currently lives in Dallas, Texas.

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