web analytics
July 8, 2015 / 21 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Home » Sections » Books »

Title: Rescued from The Reich – How One Of Hitler’s Soldiers Saved The Lubavitcher Rebbe

Title: Rescued from The Reich – How One Of Hitler’s Soldiers Saved The Lubavitcher Rebbe
Author: Bryan Mark Rigg (author of Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers)
Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven, CT

 

 

Once again, Mr. Rigg tells a spellbinding tale, this one of danger and intrigue during wartime Europe. This story involves the dangerous plan to help the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Joseph Isaac Schneerson, escape the Warsaw Ghetto.

Already a major leader of European Jewry and world-renowned scholar, the Rebbe had been a world traveler and met American President Herbert Hoover in 1930. When the Nazis marched into Poland in their quest for lebensraum (territory), the Rebbe was stuck in the ghetto. His American chassidim made their plans to save him not only for the sake of the continuation of their own Chabad/Lubavitch community, but also for continuation of Jewish leadership worldwide.

In his own inimitable manner, the author tells a fascinating and spellbinding story with facts and information not heretofore presented in other books extant. He also captures the time and atmosphere with his own retelling of enough world history of events to help set the stage, and of Chassidic and Chabad history to help make sense of the events in their setting.

During World War I, many of Germany’s soldiers were either fully or partially of Jewish blood. Many of those who fought in the previous war were now members of the Wermacht. Too many were in positions of leadership for Hitler to simply remove them from service because of their Jewish heritage. For generations, Jews in Germany had been intermarrying, and there was a very high percentage of such “Michlinge,” who had either one Jewish parent (a half-breed) or a Jewish grandparent.

In order to retain their positions in the military – and later on – in order to remain alive – these “Michlinge” had to become Aryanized, which after the Nurenberg Laws became a complicated legal procedure. Hitler himself was the final arbiter for each and every case.

By quirk of fate, one of these “Michlinge” was Ernst Ferdinand Benjamin Bloch, whose father was a Jewish physician. Bloch rose steadily in the service, especially because of his battlefield exploits during World War I, in which his jaw became horribly mutilated. Eventually, he became a member of Germany’s Abwehr – the intelligence services – under the anti-Nazi Admiral Wilhelm Canaris.

The task of rescuing the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe fell upon American diplomat Robert T. Pell, who had met his German counterpart, Helmut Wohlhat, at the Evian conference, where the major world powers discussed the fate of Europe’s Jews and other refugees who were victims of the Nazis.

Wohlhat transmitted the order to save the Rebbe to Canaris, who assigned the task to the multi-lingual Bloch, who had to first conduct a detailed search of the ghetto under German air bombardment and military occupation without raising suspicions of the SS and other Wehrmacht soldiers.

After the daring rescue from the Warsaw ghetto, the Rebbe wasn’t safe quite yet. The Washington attorney, Max Rhoade, was hired by Chabad especially for the task of engineering the escape, including procurement of visas from the American State Department. He had to arrange for the Rebbe and his entourage to escape to still-free Latvia, then board a trans-Atlantic steamer to New York.

Rigg is not only a truly great historian (and the book contains all of the necessary footnotes and bibliography to prove that), but a storyteller of truly engrossing proportions. He deploys a fluid narrative that is both fascinating and illuminating. His work captures not only the drama and tenor of those dangerous times, but the essential meanings behind the events as they unfurled.

Once in the U.S., the Rebbe expended his efforts toward re-establishing the Jewish and chassidic community in America. Rabbi Schneerson funneled his efforts toward establishing Yeshivot here and in other parts of the free world. He was also responsible for saving the Gerer Rebbe, among others, from the fires of the Holocaust.

Enough time has gone by for historians to finally have access to the necessary documents that accurately depict the events that occurred. An amazing treasure-trove has been unearthed by Mr. Rigg, who has thus informed us about an historical event that had significant affect upon the survival of traditional Judaism in the world. The book is replete with fascinating photographs and riveting narrative. It is truly an inspiring work of art.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: Rescued from The Reich – How One Of Hitler’s Soldiers Saved The Lubavitcher Rebbe”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Yeshiva boys learn Torah together at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.  Due to their participation in a pre-army intelligence program, the IDF requires their identities to remain secret.
Exclusive: First IDF Cyber-Defense Program Opens at Yeshiva
Latest Sections Stories
Grieff-070315

In the face of evil, we can do acts of kindness. We can do good deeds.

Teens-Twenties-logo

I realized that I am an integral part of that man who wished to win – I am also a part of a nation; I felt like I was standing there and shouting, “I won.”

Teens-Twenties-logo

As I powerfully belted out the song, Ani Maamin B’emunah Sheleima – which means “I believe in God with full faith” – a thought suddenly crossed my mind.

Ganz-View-From-Window-logo

I do not suggest abandoning civilization for a pristine desert island or a hilltop in Judea or Samaria.

After diamonds were discovered in South Africa in the mid-1800s, Antwerp regained its prominence as the diamond capital of the world.

Search the Internet for innovative barbeque items and you might just be surprised at what you come across.

Orlando was once a place where people came only to visit and vacation. Now it is home to a burgeoning Torah community, a place Jewish families can be proud to call home.

You’re not seeking perfection. You’re seeking a life that an average person can manage and feel good about. Don’t feel pressure to change everything at once.

The smuggler’s life has been changed forever. He is faced with a major criminal charge. He will probably be sent to prison.

In Culture Shock, readers will also come to identify with a culture from the other end of Orthodox Jewry’s spectrum.

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Executive Function Disorder (EFD) have trouble keeping themselves organized and on-task.

Our Sages have told us exactly how we should act – and how our children should act – in Pirkei Avos, Ethics of the Fathers.

A second supposed difficulty actually becomes a reason to corroborate that Amestris is Esther.

I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other.

More Articles from Aharon Ben Anshel
book-Lincoln

It’s almost pointless to try to summarize all of the fascinating information that Holzer’s research unearthed.

book-disambiguation

While still a student in a small Midwest college she learns that her aunt in New York has passed away, resulting in her life turning topsy turvy.

Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.

Green was an American volunteer in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, but something happened In Israel that has haunted him ever since.

Witnessed by Theodore Herzl, who was a journalist for a Viennese newspaper covering the trial, the cause célèbre became the spark that eventually caused the rise of the State of Israel in modern times.

These eleven nursing home residents and their accompanying staff from the Connecticut nursing home could represent any of us or our own loved ones…

There are three kinds of travelers: there are tourists, there are businesspeople, and then there are historians like Ben G. Frank.

The last kind doesn’t simply go from here to there. They try to relive history and find the real meaning behind what they experience.

Behind “the news” there’s almost always a story that isn’t being reported, and certain kinds of phenomenon occur almost simultaneously all over the world in almost every era.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-rescued-from-the-reich-how-one-of-hitlers-soldiers-saved-the-lubavitcher-rebbe/2005/01/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: