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Return to the Reich: A Hero’s Journey of Vengeance and Triumph

  • 06:00 PM
  • 970-476-0954

Return to the Reich: A Hero’s Journey of Vengeance and Triumph

Arts and Culture

With Eric Lichtblau

Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; program begins at 6 p.m.

The Sebastian-Vail | Vail

In 1938, Freddy Mayer, a 16-year-old German-born Jew, escaped Nazi Germany with his family and fled to the United States—they were among the last German Jews to escape. However, Mayer’s story doesn’t end there. Attempting to enlist the day after Pearl Harbor, Mayer was rejected as an “enemy alien” because he was German. He was soon recruited to the OSS, the country’s first spy outfit before the CIA, and returned to Europe as an American commando on a secret mission behind enemy lines in the Austrian Alps. With the help of a second Jewish refugee from the Netherlands and a Nazi defector, Mayer posed on the ground as a Nazi officer and a POW for nearly two months, collecting vital information that aided the Allies in seizing one of the Reich’s last battlegrounds. 
Eric Lichtblau chronicles Mayer’s journey in his nonfiction book, “Return to the Reich: A Holocaust Refugee’s Secret Mission to Defeat the Nazis,” which Publishers Weekly called “a fresh and masterfully told WWII story” and Kirkus Review described as “an enthralling page turner.” As Lichtblau takes the audience through Mayer’s story, it will become clear how the story resonates with modern-day lessons about hatred, heroism and the contributions that refugees have made to America.
Eric Lichtblau is a two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and the best- selling author of “The Nazis Next Door” and “Bush’s Law: The Remaking of American Justice.” He was a Washington reporter for the New York Times for fifteen years and for the Los Angeles Times for fifteen years before that. He has also written during his career for the New Yorker, TIME, and other publications. He has been a frequent guest on NPR, MSNBC, C-SPAN, and other networks, as well as a speaker at many universities and institutions. His latest book, “Return to the Reich: A Holocaust Refugee’s Secret Mission to Defeat the Nazis,” was released in October 2019.
This program is underwritten by Dierdre & Ronnie Baker and Gabrielle & Bill Mimeles and is presented in partnership with B’nai Vail

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