Bryan Rigg: The untold Story of Hitlers Jewish Soldiers

We are proud that we could win Bryan Mark Rigg as a speaker for the American Club of Hamburg online events series. Bryan is a Finanical Advisor in his own firm in his professional life, but his passion lies in history. Bryan Rigg is an American with German roots and studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, continued on to Yale University, and received his B.A. in 1996. He received a grant from the Henry Fellowship, to continue his studies in Cambridge University, where Rigg earned his doctorate in 2002. In the summer of 1994 he went to Germany, and met Peter Millies, an elderly man who helped Rigg understand the German in a movie they were watching, Europa Europa, about Shlomo Perl, a full Jew who “hid in plain sight” in the Nazi army, posing as a Volksdeutsche orphan named Josef Peters. Millies later told Rigg that he himself was a part-Jew, and introduced him to the subject which was to become his main research topic for many years. Rigg discovered a large number of “Mischlinge” (part-Jews) who were members of the National Socialist German Workers Party (or “Nazi” Party) and/or served in the German Armed Forces during World War II. In the 1990s, he travelled throughout the world, primarily Austria and Germany, and interviewed hundreds of these men. His assembled documents, videotapes, and wartime memoirs on the subject are presented as the Bryan Mark Rigg Collection at the Military Archives branch of the Federal German Archives (Bundesarchiv) in Freiburg, Germany. He has taught as a lecturer at Southern Methodist University and American Military University. Bryan Rigg served as a volunteer in the Israel Army and as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. His claims have been used both by Holocaust researchers, as well as Holocaust denial and anti-Zionist groups. His book Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers earned him the Colby Award (for first books in military history) in 2003. Before his work was published, his research was picked up by several newspapers, most notably the London Telegraph, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, causing much sensation and generating a lot of criticism from some historians while many endorsed his work. He has published several other books since then: Rescued From the Reich, with a foreword by Paula Hyman (Yale University Press 2004), Lives of Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers (Kansas, 2009) and The Rabbi Saved by Hitler’s Soldiers, with a foreword by Michael Berenbaum (Kansas, 2016).