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

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

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Rescued from the Reich: How One of Hitler's Soldiers Saved the Lubavitcher Rebbe 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Rigg has done a lot of research on this matter. He has put in much time, energy, and even suffered some personal physical injury during a biking accident during his trip to Germany to interview Jewish veterans of the 3rd Reich. He deserves much credit for his book, indeed. However much of this knowledge was quite well known already amongst Lubavitchers, especially with the publication of 'Out of the Inferno', by a Lubavitcher historian. No offense to Mr. Rigg, but just as a person who does not know a specific language can not just talk to a few people who know that language or even people who only know people that speak that language and then go ahead and attempt to translate that language or write about it, so too if one doesn't know the entire details of a particular story nor the meaning of a Rebbe, how can he present such a book? Therefore some simple stories were incorrectly recorded in his book due to a lack of knowledge of basic hebrew and the terms of Jewish prayer. It also seems that some information that could have shed more light on this story, in particular with the efforts of the Rebbe after he arrived in America was purposely witheld by some Lubavitchers for some unexpilicable reasons, thereby resulting in some misunderstandings of the story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A unique event in the horrendous tale of the Shoah comes to light in this story by a brilliant young historian. A chain of intervention passing from concerned Americans through the U.S.State Department(preceding American entrance into WWII),then to the Nazi Admiral Canaris (later another of Hitler's victims), and finally to its enacting by a half-Jewish German military officer,- leads to the improbable rescue of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Schneersohn from the Warsaw ghetto.This is narrated in scholarly detail,with much material from primary sources. It also provides useful background information on Hasidism as well as on the political situation of the period. Additionally it reminds us of the antisemitism in the U.S. immigration authority then, and it raises questions why this display of sympathy was shown toward a man who had little concern for his fellow-Jews outside the sect of which he was the spiritual leader.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The idea of one of Hitler's soldiers rescuing a Jewish rabbi and his family seems preposterous, yet Bryan Mark Rigg has uncovered this remarkable story. This well-documented book carefully takes the reader through each step of the rescue as high-ranking U.S. officials and Nazis (soldiers and officials) worked together to achieve the impossible. A riveting Holocaust rescue story by an excellent writer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book intrigued me by its name as well as by it s author, since I have read his other book Hitler's Jewish Soldiers. At first this book fascinated me, the tough research that went in to writing this great piece of History, what disappointed me however, was the way the author says that he is a historian and yet he writes his own analysis and understanding of what was taking place. I was also surprised to see how ignorant a man can be. When one writes the history of a person or people one needs to understand where those people are coming from, and Rigg just does not get it. That might be why he has such a hard time understanding what went on once the Lubavitcher Rebbe came to America. The author also seems to ignore many details of the history of the orthodox Jews in America, and although I am happy that he left it out, since there are things better off not said, he does that at the expense of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. I do believe that the Lubavitcher Rebbe would rather have his name tainted then have something bad said about another Jew, however, it surprises me that a "history" book should be so full of slanted information. The end of the book, is not at all history related, all the author is trying to do is paint the Lubavitcher Rebbe as a hot headed Right wing figure, who does not care about the Jews being saved from Hitler, on the contrary he is just blaming the Jews for the holocaust. And he goes on to contrast His words with that of his son-in-law the Lubavitcher Rebbe. I would like to shed some light here. Rigg points out that the Lubavitcher Rebbe did try to get a meeting with the President but was denied. Rigg also says clearly that there were other organizations that worked on behalf of the Jewish community. (here is where he left out all the important details) so he went to work on the spiritual side of defending the Jews and saving them from harm. You see, from a Jewish perspective, there is nothing in this world that exist on only the physical realm. There is always the spiritual as well. So when fighting injustice, and working on saving Jewish lives, we can't just fight in the physical realm, we have to also fight in the spiritual realm. Therefore he was trying to persuade Jews to enhance their commitment to Torah and Mitzvot and by doing so the holocaust will end. So if you reverse this statement you can say that if Jews don't change then that will "in essence" encourage the Germans to succeed. This is NOT what he was saying and that is why the Lubavitcher Rebbe, his son-in-law had to clarify. In conclusion, the ignorant will say that they are arguing while the educated in spiritual matters will see clearly the difference.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. It is evident the author did a great deal of research to properly portray the events concerning the rescue of Rabbi Schneersohn from the Nazi's. Intruiging elements are shown, including the help provided by a half Jewish Wermact officer who assisted in the rabbi's escape to America. Also noted are the problems that surfaced because of the obstinence of Rabbi Schneersohn and his followers while the drama was enfolding. It all makes for very good reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Drawing from countless primary and secondary sources and many interviews (including one with the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe's only living descendant, his grandson Barry Gourary), this book sheds much new light into the rescue of the previous Rebbe, especially the role of at least three Nazis, Helmut Wohlthat, William Canaris, and Ernst Bloch, commissioned by the American government in the rescue of the previous Rebbe. Lest one therefore draw the mistaken conclusion that America was highly sympathetic to the plight of the persecuted European Jewry, this was hardly --to my own personal shock and sadness-- the case at all. In the chapter The Search Begins, the reader is introduced to Breckinridge Long of the US State Department, overseer of America's refugee policy and a fierce anti-Semite whose immigration policies were disastrous for European Jewish refugees. Another impediment was the Immigration Act of 1924, something I recently learned about in my US Immigration and Ethnicity class this semester. The book raises many complicated moral questions on countries and individuals. Much of it might make Lubavitcher chassidim themselves uncomfortable, although they should be no less indebted than an outsider like myself (if not more so) to Bryan Mark Rigg for the painstaking work and research he has discovered and published about their beloved sixth Rebbe. For the Lubavitcher reading this book with footnotes, he will undoubtedly be made very uneasy at reading Barry Gourary's account of the complicated relationship between his father, Rabbi Shmaryahu Gourary (the Rashag) and his uncle (the Rashag's brother-in-law), Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (the Rebbe, known prior to 1951 as the Ramash). The Lubavitcher will also be bothered by Barry Gourary's take on his uncle's time at university and his contention that his grandfather, the previous Rebbe, disapproved of the university studies. Still, I, for one, found it refreshing to read a 'non-censored' truthful non-revisionist account on Chabad history. Indeed, when one reads about the previous Rebbe's life from official Chabad publications, one would be forgiven for not knowing that he had a daughter named Chana Gourary and a grandson, both of whom are wholly and conspicuously omitted (no doubt due to their joint role in the court case over the previous Rebbe's books in the late 1980's) from publications like Days of Chabad and others. Rigg further tackles the negligence of President Roosevelt and the United States to help European Jewry through many angles and perspectives. The painful episode of the May 1939 St. Louis refugee ship is mentioned and Rigg also notes that many question Jewish leaders of the time 'for not fighting harder against Roosevelt's apparent indifference' and that they could and should have done more on behalf of their European co-religionists. Rigg also explores moral questions involving the Nazis, and half-Jewish Bloch in particular, in saving the previous Rebbe. In great understatement, Rigg writes, 'The story of Bloch and the Rebbe shows some of the moral complexity of the war.' In her approbation of the book, Sue Fishkoff (whom I was delighted to meet again at the Kinnus HaShluchim last week at the Brooklyn Marriot Hotel for the Lay Leadership Conference) writes of how Rigg masterfully exposes 'the cracks in the Nazi military machine that permitted men of conscience to act righteously, albeit at great personal risk.' Well put. Indeed, it is an intellectual and emotional roller coaster for the reader in attempting to understand men like Bloch and Canaris, the latter whose tragic fate is recounted. Inasmuch as Judaism teaches that deeds are of primary importance, the motivations behind them should be secondary if not altogether irrelevant. Whatever one thinks of their motivations, the fact is these men saved a Jewish leader, who, largely through his successor, is responsible for the absolute greatest and arguably singularly most effective outreac
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Rescued From The Reich' is a fascinating account of a less considered aspect of the holocaust: how members of the Nazi military actually helped Jews escape Hitler's extermination program. Bryan M. Rigg offers a well researched and documented account of the amazing rescue of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and his entourage, by certain Nazi soldiers (mischling). He presents a clear picture of the circumstances in Europe for Jews and how they responded to the coming threat of genocide. Rigg also describes Hitler's Aryanization process of some Jews who were of mixed blood, which is a little known topic and one worth learning and considering within the history of WW II and the holocaust. Although most Ameircans are aware that Jews were not welcomed with open arms in the 30s and 40s, the author does an excellent job of revealing the depth of anti-semitism in American society and government. This is an important book that is worth reading for its contribution to a comprehensive WW II history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Rescued from the Reich historian Bryan Mark Rigg has unearthed one of the most remarkable untold stories of World War Two. It not only is a suspensful, vivid and well told tale, but a work that challenges long and dearly held assumptions about the Holocaust and raises crucial questions about religious identity and moral responsibility. I highly recommend this enjoyable and thought provoking book.