Arts & Culture News

Guy Stern Was Born in Germany but Fought the Nazis, and Tonight He's in Dallas

Bronze Star Medal recipient and esteemed comparative literature scholar Guy Stern will speak at the Dallas Holocaust Museum Center on Thursday, part of the museum's summer exhibition "The Ritchie Boys."

Stern, 90, was born in Germany in 1922 before emigrating to America just before the onset of World War II. Living with relatives, he was initially denied enlistment into the Navy because he was not a citizen, but was eventually drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943. Like roughly 9,000 other German-speaking immigrants -- many Jewish, each with an intimate understanding of German culture -- he was sent to Camp Ritchie , where he was trained in counterintelligence, investigation, interrogation and psychological warfare.

Stern served as a POW interrogator on the front lines in France and Germany. He was featured in Christian Bauer's award-winning documentary, The Ritchie Boys (2004).

Per the Museum:

They were there because they knew German language, culture, and mentality better than most American-born soldiers. Their existence was a well-kept secret and, to this day, the exploits and strategic importance of the Ritchie Boys is virtually unknown. This is the first exhibit telling the tales of these brave newcomers to America and how their willingness to join the fight against their homelands helped save the world from the scourge of Nazi terror.

Admission to the special event is $10 for members and professional educators, $20 for nonmembers and free for Circle of Remembrance members. "The Ritchie Boys" runs at the Dallas Holocaust Museum through August 27.

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Brentney Hamilton