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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.

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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The Rosenstraße Protest In Nazi Germany

 

The shifting Nazi directives regarding Jews married to Gentile Germans which I wrote about in my previous blog, also resulted in one of the few successful resistance efforts against Hitler’s Jewish policies. 

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Nazi Policy and the Intermarriage and Mischling Dilemma

 

The Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935 (see blog “Loss of Citizenship the Nuremberg Way,” posted May 29, 2015) continued to be amended and fine-tuned for the next four years.  Ever stricter, these laws codified Hitler’s anti-Jewish policy and gave the Nazi regime deadly control over the Jews living in Germany and the occupied countries. 

One of the stickiest problems faced by the Nazi policy makers was how to handle the situation of Jews who were married to German Gentiles and the children of these unions.

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The Ritchie Boys and Questions of Death and Spies

Last November, when I spoke to the Hot Springs Women’s Club about Immigrant Soldier, I was asked two questions regarding the Ritchie Boys I had never fielded before. One of the ladies wanted to know how many, if any, Ritchie Boys were killed in action.  Another lady inquired if any of the Ritchie-trained men were later discovered to have been German spies during the war, given their close ties to Germany and Austria. 

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