The Rabbi Saved by Hitler’s Soldiers:
Rebbe Joseph Isaac Schneersohn and His Astonishing Rescue
By Bryan Mark Rigg
University Press of Kansas
510 pages (including notes)
On September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland and started the Second World War, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher rebbe, was living in a suburb of Warsaw. On December 14, escorted by a squad of German soldiers, he and his entourage left Warsaw in a first class railway car and travelled to Berlin where they stayed overnight. The next day, still under escort, still in a first class railway car, they went to Riga, in Latvia. The Germans left them at the Latvian border. On March 4, they flew to Sweden in an 18-seat aircraft. On March 7, they boarded the Swedish liner Drottningholm and sailed to New York.
Bryan Mark Rigg is a military historian who was brought up Baptist, discovered he was of Jewish descent, and converted to Judaism. He is the author of Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military, a study of the role of mischlinge, men of partly Jewish ancestry who had received Aryanization certificates and then served in the German forces during the Second World War, published in 2002. [Read more…]