FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) – Many call them the unsung heroes of World War II, and this weekend a special traveling exhibit at the Holocaust Memorial Center will be on display. It’s called “Secret Heroes: The Ritchie Boys.”
The exhibit focuses on the lives of a band of soldiers who fought against the psychological warfare of the Nazis.
Stephen Goldman, Executive Director of the Holocaust Memorial Center, explained the Ritchie Boys were a little known American Army Intelligence Unit comprised primarily of Jewish soldiers, mostly refugees who fled Nazi controlled Germany.
“This is the first time the Ritchie Boys have had a reunion. There is no complete roster because they were so secret. And they were sworn to secrecy after they left, so it was never publicized. There are about 80 to 100 surviving Ritchie Boys and about a dozen will be here for the opening,” Goldman said.
The exploits and the achievements of the Ritchie Boys will be detailed in the exhibit through war-time photographs, original reports they authored, letters home, medals, uniforms and weapons.
The Ritchie Boys also were the subject of a 2004 film of the same name.
The exhibit’s grand opening is Sunday at 3:00 pm, featuring 13 living members of the Ritchie Boys. The exhibit will be at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills for six months.
For more information, call 248.553.2400 or visit www.holocaustcenter.org.