Max’s War

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A new historical epic set before and during WW2
Max’s War: The Story of a Ritchie Boy
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As 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 escapes 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 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.


Hellmann expertly marries heaps of historical detail with a thoughtful illustration of the dangers of nationalism. This ranks with the author’s best work.

Publishers Weekly

Intense and suspenseful… gripping… This thriller will resonate with history enthusiasts but also anyone seeking stories about standing up against hate.

BookLife Reviews, (Editor's Pick)

Meticulously, enviably researched, with an unerring eye for detail. It’s the 20th century at its worst, and it’s a story everyone should know, everyone should read.

John Lawton, Author of the Joe Wilderness series