Feb 21, 2024

Max's War: The Story of a Ritchie Boy by Libby Fischer Hellman

 New historical novel of WWII

Publication: April 9, 2024; Red Herrings Press
Genre: historical fiction, WWII

DescriptionAs the Nazis sweep across Europe, Jewish teen Max and his parents flee persecution in Germany for Holland, where Max finds friends and romance. But when Hitler invades in 1940, Max must escape to Chicago, leaving his parents and friends behind. When he learns of his parents' murder in Sobibor, Max immediately enlists in the US Army. After basic training he is sent to Camp Ritchie, Maryland, where he is trained in interrogation and counterintelligence.

Deployed to the OSS, Max carries out dangerous missions in Occupied countries. He also interrogates scores of German POWs, especially after D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, where, despite life-threatening conditions, he elicits critical information about German troop movements.

Post-war, he works for the Americans in the German denazification program, bringing him back to his Bavarian childhood home of Regensburg. Though the city avoided large-scale destruction, the Jewish community was decimated. Max roams familiar yet strange streets, replaying memories of lives lost to unspeakable tragedy. While there, however, he reunites with someone from his past, who, like him, sought refuge abroad. Can they rebuild their lives… together?

This epic story about a Ritchie Boy is Libby Hellmann’s tribute to her late father-in-law who was active with the OSS and interrogated dozens of German POWs. (publisher)

Thanks to Wiley Saichek of Saichek Publicity for an ARC of this book for feature/review. 


  1. This does sound really good! And I like that the author drew from her own father-in-law's life for it.

  2. This sounds very good. Thanks for sharing

  3. I didn't know of the Ritchie Boys but now I do -- interesting new facet to WWII lit. Seems like a good story.

  4. I think I have a Libby Fischer Hellman book on my bookshelf. A friend recommended her to me years ago, but I have yet to try her work. This does sound good. I do enjoy books set in and around the World Wars. This sounds like one I will have to add to my wish list.


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