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X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II

With author Leah Garrett

Center for Jewish History (map)
15 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011
In person
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In June of 1942, amid Third Reich victories everywhere, Winston Churchill and his chief of staff form an unusual plan: a new commando unit made up of Jewish refugees who escaped to Britain. The resulting volunteers are a motley group of intellectuals, artists, and athletes, most from Germany and Austria. Many have been interned as enemy aliens, and have lost their families, their homes—their whole worlds. They will stop at nothing to defeat the Nazis. Trained in counterintelligence and advanced combat, this top-secret unit becomes known as X Troop.

Drawing on extensive original research, including interviews with the last surviving members, author and historian Leah Garrett, Professor and Director of Jewish Studies at Hunter College, follows this unique band of brothers from Germany to England and back again, with stops at British internment camps, the beaches of Normandy, the battlefields of Italy and Holland, and the hellscape of Terezin concentration camp—the scene of one of the most dramatic, untold rescues of the war. For the first time, X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II tells the astonishing story of these secret shock troops and their devastating blows against the Nazis.

This program is hosted by the Center for Jewish History and cosponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute. It is funded, in part, by a Humanities New York CARES Grant, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.