X-Troop – The Secret Jewish Commandos
Chair: Helen Fry
After Quentin Tarantino’s fictional take in Inglorious Basterds, now for the first time the full, heart-stopping story of the real-life Jewish commandos who wreaked havoc against the Nazi war machine is revealed in X Troop by Hunter College director of Jewish and Hebrew Studies Leah Garrett. In desperation, as the shadow of the Third Reich falls across continental Europe, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff form an audacious plan: a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria who escaped to Britain just before the War. Many have lost their families, their homes – their whole worlds. And now, in the crucial final battles against the Nazis, they will stop at nothing to defeat them. From the beaches of Normandy and the battlefields of Italy and Holland to the hellscape of Theresienstadt, the scene of one of the most dramatic, untold rescues of the war, X Troop tells the story of these secret shock troops and their devastating blows against the Nazis. The award-winning author of Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel speaks to historian Helen Fry live from the US.
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Dr Leah Garrett is the Director of Jewish and Hebrew Studies at Hunter College and an award-winning author. Her book Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and won the 2017 Jordan Schnitzer award for best book in Modern Jewish History. She is also the author of Journeys beyond the Pale: Yiddish Travel Writing in the Modern World and A Knight at the Opera: Heine, Wagner, Herzl, Peretz, and the Legacy of Der Tannhäuser.
Historian Dr Helen Fry has written over 25 books on the Second World War with particular reference to British intelligence, espionage, prisoners of war and the secret war. She has also written a number of books about the 10,000 Germans who fought for Britain in WWII. Her acclaimed book The Walls Have Ears became a bestseller and was in the Daily Mail’s Top 8 Books of the Year on War. Her latest book MI9: A History of the British Secret Service for Escape and Evasion has attracted widespread media attention. Helen has appeared in numerous TV documentaries as well as live BBC news interviews. She is an Ambassador for The Museum of Military Intelligence and President of the Friends of the National Archives. Image cr. Greg Morrison