Book Review ~ Why We Fought

Why We Fought: Inspiring Stories of Resisting Hitler and Defending Freedom

by Jerry Borrowman


The struggle to combat the Nazis during World War II encompassed front lines far beyond conventional battlefields. In a panoramic and compelling account, author Jerry Borrowman shares seven largely untold stories of people who undertook extraordinary efforts to defeat the Third Reich at enormous personal risk.

Some were soldiers like the Ghost Army, an eclectic group of former artists, actors, and engineers who engaged in top-secret tactical deceptions by staging ingenious decoy armies. Using inflatable tanks, radio transmissions, and sound effects, they were able to trick the Germans throughout the course of the war, often working close to the front lines of the fiercest fighting.

Some were ordinary citizens like William Sebold, a German immigrant and US citizen, who could have been a deadly foe, but instead chose the Allied cause. When he was coerced by the Gestapo into becoming a spy in America, he instead approached the FBI and offered to become a double agent. His efforts successfully helped bring down a dangerous German spy network that was dedicated to stealing industrial and wartime secrets and sabotaging America on home soil.

These dramatic and inspiring personal stories shed light on some of the darkest days of World War II and one of the most perilous times in human history. As the Nazis swept through Europe, citizens around the world faced an individual and national complex moral question: How do you respond to the tyranny and bloodthirsty madness of the Nazis? These are stories of ordinary men and women who would not surrender or compromise. They resisted and fought with total commitment for freedom and democracy despite the personal cost.

My thoughts: A new World War II book to check out. This one has very good stories and most are new to me. First is Virginia Hall. Second is William Sebold. Third is Marlene Dietrich, a well known Hollywood actress. Fourth is Juan Pujol, a double agent. Fifth is Carl Lutz, who saved 72,000 Jewish lives. Sixth is The Ghost Army which saved about 30,000 American lives. And finally, there is the story of the Battle for the Castle Itter in Austria. An amazing, fact-filled addition to my World War II knowledge. Advance review copy was provided by Shadow Mountain.

Why We Fought

Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing – 208 pages

Publication date: Oct 5th, 2021

My rating: 5/5 STARS

About the author: Jerry Borrowman is an award-winning author of historical fiction and nonfiction titles, including Compassionate Soldier and Invisible Heroes of World War II. He has written about the World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Vietnam War. He is the recipient of the George Washington National Medal from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge. He and his wife, Marcella, raised four children and live in the Rocky Mountains.

Book Review ~ Into the Forest

Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph, and Love

by Rebecca Frankel

From a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, Rebecca Frankel’s Into the Forest is one family’s inspiring true story of love, escape, and survival.

In the summer of 1942, the Rabinowitz family narrowly escaped the Nazi ghetto in their Polish town by fleeing to the forbidding Bialowieza Forest. They miraculously survived two years in the woods―through brutal winters, Typhus outbreaks, and merciless Nazi raids―until they were liberated by the Red Army in 1944. After the war they trekked across the Alps into Italy where they settled as refugees before eventually immigrating to the United States.

During the first ghetto massacre, Miriam Rabinowitz rescued a young boy named Philip by pretending he was her son. Nearly a decade later, a chance encounter at a wedding in Brooklyn would lead Philip to find the woman who saved him. And to discover her daughter Ruth was the love of his life.

From a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, one family’s inspiring true story.

My thoughts: This is yet another good book from WWII, written by Rebecca Hankel. It focuses on the Rabinowitz family and their experiences after escaping to the forest to avoid capture by the Nazis. I enjoy reading about different aspects of this time period to further my knowledge of history. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Rebecca Frankel, and the publisher.

Into the Forest

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press – 352 pages
Publication: Sep 7th , 2021
My rating: 4/5 STARS

About the author: Rebecca Frankel is the author of New York Times bestselling book, War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love. She is former executive editor at Foreign Policy magazine. Her work has appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and National Geographic, among others. A Connecticut native, she lives in Washington, DC.