The Jewish Refugees Who Fled Nazi Germany—Then Returned to Fight

The jewish refugees who fled nazi germany—then returned to fight

When American soldiers fought Germany in World War II, there was one group that was particularly motivated – about 2,000 Jewish refugees, mostly Germans and Austrians, who fled the Nazis and then returned to Europe to confront their executioners as members of US military intelligence.

The so-called Ritchie Boys were among approximately 15,000 graduates of training programs at Camp Ritchie, a former Maryland National Guard camp named for late Maryland Governor Albert C. Ritchie. Many German and Austrian Jewish refugees showed up at Camp Ritchie while still designated as “enemy aliens”. In return for their knowledge of German language, culture, and topography, which proved essential in extracting information vital to the war effort, the military offered citizenship.

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