If you want to read an intense and dramatic book regarding Jewish spies during the Holocaust, then They Dared Return: The True Story of Jewish Spies Behind the Lines in N azi Germany, by Patrick K. O’Donnell is a book for you. From the first page to the last, I was totally engrossed and mesmerized by the story line of the Jewish individuals who were chosen by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to penetrate and return to their homeland in Germany in order to help fight and destroy the Nazis. They were part of “Operation Greenup”, and their mission was not only covert, but extremely dangerous, not only for them, but their families, many who were in concentration camps.
They Dared Return is a unique World War II story, told from an unusual perspective.
For starters, the Jews involved in “Operation Greenup”, were refugees who managed to escape Germany. That in itself is remarkable, combined with the fact that they involved themselves, voluntarily, to return and try to disintegrate Hitler and the Nazis in hopes of ending the war. The courage and determination that was exhibited by these extraordinary men is beyond comprehension and comparison to anything I have read before.
The story reads like a spy novel or film, when it is entirely factual. That these Jews were able to plan and infiltrate enemy lines and exercise their mission was an incredible feat. Parachuting behind enemy lines in order to gain information on the Nazi stronghold is the situation heroes are made of. The risks they took are almost unfathomable and overwhelming to the mind.
They Dared Return is a fast paced and intriguing page turner. To state that it is an intense book would be an understatement. It is riveting, adventurous, dramatic, and a thriller filled with vivid imagery that filled all of my senses to overflowing. The courage and efforts that were planned and executed are hardcore examples of mental and physical strength endeavored under the most adverse of scenarios.
I am still trying to digest this outstanding book, and all the historical facts presented within the pages. It is a story that will stay with me, and linger within me well into the future.
They Dared Return is a unique exploration into the events encountered by these individuals. It is a story that is rare, and one that needed to be told.
I applaud Patrick K. O’Donnell for his efforts in researching, documenting and bringing us this untold and remarkable Story. They Dared Return: The True Story of Jewish Spies Behind the Lines in Nazi Germany is an invaluable addition to World War II and Holocaust history. It belongs in every home library.
December 26, 2011 – 30 Kislev, 5772
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