Ritchie Boys Paul Fairbrook and Maximilian Lerner join author Beverley Eddy on VBC Happy Hour
During WWII a select group of Jewish immigrants from Nazi Germany and Austria exacted perfect revenge on Hitler by returning to Europe as soldiers trained in intelligence, espionage, and psychological warfare. They were called the Ritchie Boys for the secret camp in Maryland where they did their training. The US Army attributed 60% of the credible intelligence it received during WWII to the work of the Ritchie Boys. Yet, until recently, their story hadn’t been told.
We welcome two Ritchie Boys to the Veterans Breakfast Club: Paul Fairbrook and Maximilian Lerner. We’re also joined by Beverley Eddy, author of new book, “Ritchie Boy Secrets” which tells the story of this now declassified program.
Maximilian Lerner immigrated from Vienna to New York in 1941, then enlisted in the US Army and went back to Europe as an American soldier in 1944. He was recruited into the Office of Strategic Services as a special agent for secret missions in Germany. Paul Fairbrook used a valuable stamp collection to make it to the US from Berlin in the late 1930s before being drafted into the Army and trained Camp Ritchie, Maryland. He also served in Europe overseeing interrogations and review of captured German documents. Beverley Eddy is a historian and author of “Ritchie Boy Secrets: How a Force of Immigrants and Refugees Helped Win World War II.” She will guide the conversation with our veterans about this fascinating story.
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