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Books, Writing, History, and the Ritchie Boys

In "Books, Writing, History and the Ritchie Boys" I share my thoughts on certain books, the process of writing, the experiences of an indie-publisher, short pieces on WWII and the Holocaust, highlights of places from Immigrant Soldier, and, occasionally, profiles of Ritchie Boys. Everything in this blog reflects my personal ideas and feelings–a memoir of sorts, it is my perspective and any errors or omissions are mine.

Marthe Cohn, Behind Enemy Lines

Last year in the end of December, I was able to attend a talk by Marthe Cohn, holocaust survivor and French spy.
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The Battle of Saint-Malo in World War II

Ever since I first visited Saint-Malo with my daughter in 1998, I have wanted to return.  It is a beautiful old walled city on the Brittany coast of France where extreme tides create a dynamic backdrop. However, it was not until last year when I read All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, that I realized this beautiful city was decimated during World War II by Allied artillery and bombs. Why?  Because it was the location of a heavily defended Nazi fort that refused to withdraw. 

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The Archivist of the Ritchie Boys

Whenever I need statistics about the Ritchie Boys, I contact Dan Gross.  I have come to call him “The Archivist.”  I don’t know if this title is original to me, or if I heard it somewhere, but it is well-deserved.

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Meg Waite Clayton - A World War II "Nut."

I recently had the honor of hosting best-selling author Meg Waite Clayton for a weekend in my home. She had come to Laguna Beach in order to speak at the annual fund-raising Literary Luncheon for an organization dear to my heart .*  Earlier I had been asked by the organization to write a short piece about Clayton for the local newspaper.  In order to do that, I had already enjoyed a long phone interview with the author and knew when she arrived we would hit it off.

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The Ritchie Boy Who Helped the Quakers

small Quaker photo 1940 2Rudi Hockenheimer was born in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1925. It seemed a safe time to his middle-class Jewish parents— Germany was recovering from the devastation of World War I which had ended seven years before—and they were pleased to have a son only a year and a half after the birth of their first baby, a girl named Marianne.  But the quiet safety was deceptive.

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