Ritchie Boy Interviews/Videos

Below are some notable interviews and videos of and about various Ritchie Boys. More will be added as they are discovered, or newly interviewed. Please feel free to contact us if you think a video should be added to the page.

Landon Grove, director of the Ritchie History Museum, had the pleasure of having a virtual conversation with Dr. Albert Miller, a Ritchie Boy who shares his story of hardships faced during the Holocaust, his immigration to the United States, time in the military, and life after. We thank Al for his time and his service to the Country!

Interview by Landon Grove, Ritchie History Museum

Landon Grove, director of the Ritchie History Museum, had the pleasure of having a virtual conversation with Frederick John Rosenthal, a Ritchie Boy who shares his interesting story of his wartime experiences and more. We thank John for his time and his service to the Country! A quick note - We welcomed John as a graduate of the 15th class at Camp Ritchie, but he corrected us that he was a member of the 15th class, however he did not complete the courses before being alerted for his overseas assignment. 

Interview by Landon Grove, Ritchie History Museum

Lt. Col. Alfred Shehab served during WWII, and saw action during the Battle of the Bulge – Hitler’s month-long final offensive on the Western front. LTC Shehab was assigned to the 38th Cavalry Squadron, a reconnaissance unit tasked with patrolling the forests of the Ardennes region when the battle broke out on December 16, 1944. Here, he talks about his distinguished service, and the impact its had upon his life. 

Video interview by American Veterans Center

The Untold Stories of a Clandestine WWII Intelligence Unit: The Ritchie Boys. Ritchie Boy Stanley Carnarius was born in Illinois, but had a penchant for foreign languages. He spoke German, French, Spanish and Portuguese and was thus accepted into the Ritchie program. While at Camp Ritchie Carnarius would study photo interpretation and map-making and graduate from the 21st Class as an Order of Battle specialist. 

Video interview by American Veterans Center

Maximilian Lerner was born in 1924 in Vienna, Austria. Following the Anschluss, life in Vienna became increasingly difficult for Lerner’s family and forced them to flee to Paris. After three challenging years, they secured visas to the United States in April 1941. With a deep hatred for the Nazis, Lerner enlisted in the Army as soon as he turned 18. Realizing the need for German-speaking soldiers, the Army assigned Lerner to the Military Intelligence Training Center at Camp Ritchie, Maryland in 1943. It was there he trained in intelligence, interrogation, and the German order of battle. The ‘Ritchie Boys’ would ultimately end up collecting 60 percent of actionable intelligence during the European war. Lerner would deploy to Europe and find himself working alongside the OSS and SHAEF in clandestine military operations. He would be one of the first Americans to enter Paris after its liberation where he interrogated Wehrmacht and SS officers. The war would become intensely personal for Lerner when he was assigned to serve as an interpreter at the recently liberated Dachau concentration camp. The memories of the camp remain with Lerner to this day.

Video interview by American Veterans Center

As part of the D-Day+70 Years Commemoration weekend at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas, June 6-7, 2014, Dr. Guy Stern presents "Life as a Ritchie Boy." Guenther Stern, born 1922 in Hildesheim, Germany was the only member of his family of five who escaped and emigrated to the USA in 1937. In 1942, after turning 18, Guenther, now called Guy, was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was sent to Camp Ritchie and became a POW interrogator. Two days after D-Day, he arrived in Germany to interrogate German prisoners. He later received the Bronze Star for his "method of mass interrogation." After Germany's capitulation, he learned that his family perished in the Warsaw-Ghetto. Guy became a professor of German Language and Literature at Columbia University.

Video by Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidental Library

An Afternoon With Ritchie Boy, Maximilian Lerner. Maximilian Lerner was born in Vienna, Austria. His life from there followed a complex sequence of escape and resistance through World War II. He joined the U.S. Army in 1943 and - thanks to his fluency in three languages - was assigned to military intelligence.  His destiny took him back to Europe where he served in the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA, through the liberation of the continent and the end of the war. His government career terminated with his assignment as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. In addition to his autobiography, “Flight and Return: A Memoir of World War II”, Lerner has published two novels based on his experiences. On October 19, 2021, this interview with Maximilian Lerner was conducted on location in New York City by Dr. David S. Frey.

Video by Glenn Godart and Peter Brannigan

Refugee & Resistance Speaker Guy Stern. Guy Stern was born in Hildesheim, Germany in 1922. He was 11 years old when Hitler came to power and 13 years old as the world began closing in on him and all the Jews of Germany because of the Nuremburg Laws. Slowly the Jews of Germany were being separated out of German society and pushed to emigrate. His parents worked to get him papers to immigrate to the United States. On October 27, 1937 Guy boarded a ship and sailed to America. After being rejected by the Navy for duty because he was not born in America, he was sent with other boys to Kansas. That was the beginning of the journey to Fort Richie, Maryland and then back to Europe for Naval Intelligence. 

Video by Muskegon Community College 

We welcome two Ritchie Boys to the Veterans Breakfast Club: Paul Fairbrook and Maximilian Lerner. We’re also joined by Beverley Eddy, author of new book, "Ritchie Boy Secrets" which tells the story of this now declassified program. Maximilian Lerner immigrated from Vienna to New York in 1941, then enlisted in the US Army and went back to Europe as an American soldier in 1944. He was recruited into the Office of Strategic Services as a special agent for secret missions in Germany. Paul Fairbrook used a valuable stamp collection to make it to the US from Berlin in the late 1930s before being drafted into the Army and trained Camp Ritchie, Maryland. He also served in Europe overseeing interrogations and review of captured German documents. Beverley Eddy is a historian and author of "Ritchie Boy Secrets: How a Force of Immigrants and Refugees Helped Win World War II." She will guide the conversation with our veterans about this fascinating story. 

Video by Veterans Breakfast Club

Ritchie Boys, a secret U.S. WWII unit bolstered by German-born Jews | 60 Minutes Extended Stories

The Ritchie Boys were responsible for gathering more than half the actionable intelligence on the battlefield during World War II. For the many German-born Jews in their ranks, defeating the Nazis was heartbreakingly personal.

Video by 60 Minutes. Jon Wertheim reports.

On September 14, 2021, Dr. David S. Frey spoke to the Wyckoff-Midland Park Rotary about The Ritchie Boys and Diversity in the Military. He goes though topics on The Immigration Act of 1924, Influence of Antisemitism, The Military Intelligence Division, What the Ritchie Boys studied, Hand-to-hand combat, Prisoner of War Interrogation, the German Order of Battle, and other topics. Please note that "The views expressed in the video are expressed sorely by Dr. Frey and the views do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions the US Military Academy at West Point, Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.”

Video by Wyckoff-Midland Park Rotary