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.

A Stranger in Paradise


Herman arrived in California in mid-December 1939, after a long cross-country trip on a Trailways bus. As a new immigrant, all he wanted was a place to put down roots, a job that could sustain him, and a better life than he had lived in Germany under Hitler.  What he found was paradise. 

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A Community of Immigrants, Chicago 1939

 Mae Spiegels home

Herman arrived in Chicago to visit with his relatives on a cold and blustery day in November 1939. The city had a large and growing Jewish community, many of whom were actively involved in aiding refugees from Nazi Germany. In fact, without the affidavit of financial support from Herbert Oberfelder, Herman would probably not have received his US visa. (For information about the Spiegel connection to Herman, please read the blog “Chicago and the Spiegels” posted on November 8, 2014.)

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Guest — Ron Whitacre
Always informative and fascinating information. I always enjoy reading your blogs and I am so intrigued by your wealth of knowled... Read More
Monday, 14 September 2015 16:13
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Two Sons of China

Several months ago, when I received news from the Independent Publishers Book Awards that Immigrant Soldier had earned the bronze medal in the military/wartime fiction category, one of the first things I did (after sending the news to my readers) was to look at the other winners of this niche genre.

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The Spirit of Dunkirk



“While Herman enjoyed the intoxicating scene at the Zebra Room, the news from Europe continued to spiral downward. . . . Headlines blared the harsh news of the  massacre at Dunkirk . . .”

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Guest — Barbara Crowley
Katie, I really enjoy your historical information and insights. Most of my perspective comes from novels and I gain real historica... Read More
Monday, 24 August 2015 08:30
Guest — Katie Slattery
Barbara, Thank you so much for your comment. I am always learning new bits myself and am happy to pass them on.
Monday, 24 August 2015 08:43
Guest — Patricia Love
Dear Katie, My father-in-law, Ernie Love, was there. He was 16 years old, a Canadian, when he signed up and he reenlisted at three... Read More
Sunday, 30 August 2015 13:40
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An Enemy Alien in the Phoney War

Only weeks after Herman’s mother arrived in England, Germany invaded Poland. Within days, Britain and France declared war on Germany in response. “Mother and son now found themselves not only refugees but also classified as enemy aliens in a foreign land.”

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Guest — Lesley D
Interesting blog about the war-time internment of POW's and so-called Enemy Aliens on the Isle of Man. I did not know about these ... Read More
Saturday, 15 August 2015 07:28
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