The Ritchie Boys: America’s Jewish Secret Weapon During World War II
In late 1942, the US Army decided to create a special program to make use of recently arrived Jewish immigrants’ familiarity with Germany and its language. Approximately 2,000 young Jewish men (primarily from Germany) were recruited to train at Fort Ritchie in Maryland in interrogation and counterintelligence techniques.
Most of these young men had left their families behind in Europe and were anxious to become an important part of the defeat of the Nazis. Taking their lives into their own hands, the “Ritchie Boys” provided roughly 2/3 of the human intelligence used in the fight against the Nazis. Their work saved hundreds of thousands of lives and may have actually shortened the war.
Inasmuch as they were directed not to share information about their training and exploits during the war, only recently have we learned about these special individuals. Their military records were expunged and their existence was considered to be classified information. Most did not even tell their families about their role in the war.
The Ritchie Boys have a special connection to the Florida Region of FJMC through Al Treidel, Past President of the Temple Beth Sholom Men’s Club of Sarasota, Florida. A few years ago, Al discovered that his father was one of the Ritchie Boys through clues and fragments of stories that were passed down. Al invites you to learn more about these brave and resourceful young Jewish men whose efforts actually helped to bring down the Third Reich.
Al Treidel is a proud member of the Temple Beth Sholom Men’s Club of Sarasota and part of the Florida Region of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. We serve the needs of Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods across the State of Florida from the Panhandle to Miami. If you are not yet affiliated with the Federation, then today is the day to join us.
Get to know more about the Florida Region of FJMC and our growing statewide network of dynamic Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods on our website www.FloridaRegionFJMC.org and please visit and LIKE our Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/FloridaRegionFJMC.