Cover Image: The Jewish Brigade

The Jewish Brigade

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Member Reviews

The Jewish Brigade by Marvano was a decent Historical Fiction book.  There were some time jumps in the book that made it a little difficult to follow and in some of the pictures the main character had no mouth.  Even when he had speaking parts which bugged me a little bit.  Aside from those two things, I really enjoyed the story. The main characters of the novel were very captivating and as soon as I started reading about them, I became desperate to find out what happened to them in the end.  Needless to say, it did not take me long to finish this book.  As a History major, I am glad someone brought to light this ugly part in our history. I would give this book a four out of five stars.
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In the waning days of World War II, the Jewish Infantry Brigade was formed as part of the British army.  While in their downtime, they'd hunt down Nazis in hiding and help Jews make it to Palestine.  This is a larger collection of three smaller stories set in this time period.  It's an interesting side of the war.  This also takes place in the years following the war in Europe and Palestine which is something Americans never see.  The third story is during the formation of Israel.  The stories are open ended but a lot of stories during WWII were open ended without any closure.
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When most learn about history, one gets a watered-down version of it, usually in a classroom setting. One where the “good guys” always win, ride off into the sunset, credits roll and everyone goes home. It’s as if the very day after the war ended everyone is linking arms and singing kumbaya around a campfire, best friends forever. Truth is, for many situations and especially wars, nothing is ever wrapped up in a tight little bow like that. This is the kind of climate that exists within the pages of The Jewish Brigade, the new graphic novel by Dead Reckoning and US Naval Institute Press.

What most people don’t realize, in regards to World War II (as with today’s story), for many years Europe was destabilized, retaliatory killings happened frequently, and old enemies kept at peace by fascist governments were once again at each others throats. True reconciliation never really came for may reasons. Perhaps the most jarring thing was that war atrocities were overlooked due to political maneuvering. As the author, Marvano, puts it, “Because you know as well as I do that what matters to the Western Bloc now is the Red Scare. Plenty of allies are ready to march against the Russians, shoulder to shoulder with the Germans preferably.”

In The Jewish Brigade, War is over in Europe, or so they say. The last bullets have been fired in Italy pushing the Germans into self survival mode. Most are trying to lay low, others are trying to flee the country, But there are some that don’t want that to happen. The Jewish Brigade tells the story of the remnants of a short lived Jewish war battalion within the British army finding a new place in a new world where just maybe they will have a fighting chance. Whether it be hunting down and executing Nazis trying to hide in plain sight, or liberating their own people from camps that only want to go home, sadly finding that they are still not welcome in many cases.


“In the waning years of World War II, as the tragic plight of the European Jews was coming to light in ever more horrific detail, a Jewish fighting force, known as the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group, was born as part of the British Eighth Army. Leslie Toliver, a racecar driver in the pre-war years, eagerly joined the all-volunteer force for a chance to fight with his people against those who sought to murder them. When the war in Europe ends and the “savage continent” sits on the brink of continental civil war from chaos, terror, and famine, Leslie and the Brigade move to Tarvisio, Italy, a border triangle city perfect for covert action. While out searching for Holocaust survivors, Leslie undertakes vigilante missions in Soviet occupied Eastern Europe hunting down Nazis on the run for both vengeance and justice. With each Nazi found or refugee rescued, he looks for more information to complete his most personal mission: to find his mother and fiancée who went missing in the upheaval of the war.”

I enjoyed this book a LOT due to it focusing on one of these untold periods in history that are somewhat shameful, meaning it gets largely ignored and whitewashed. While I knew many of the concentration camp survivors would up dying after the fact, I had no idea that Nazi vigilantes targeted thee people as they tried to make it home. Scenes like that were jarring and extremely disturbing considering the heroic sheen we put on the end of the war over here. Many of these people were trying their hardest to flee Europe and make their way to Palestine, only to be denied by British red tape. One can tell that anti-Semitism was rampant everywhere, not just Nazi Germany – most were inclined to keep Jews in the very camps that they were wholesale murdered in, just with a different sign on the door, and the ability to not die upon arrival. Understanding this, the fact that most Jews were seemingly “not wanted” by anyone, goes to show the mindset of many Israelites today – This book actually helped me to put that puzzle piece together as to why some Israeli Nationalists act the way they do in the realm of Geopolitics.

The later portion of the book takes place right before The Arab-Israeli War of 1948, wherein an Arab coalition attempted to thwart the establishment of the Nation of Israel in what was then called Palestine. The book does not dwell on this setting, for the most part, and I wonder if there will ever be a volume two. Leslie Toliver is an interesting character in many ways. While not “noticeably Jewish” as some put it in the book, members of his family were definitely deemed “Jewish Enough” for the gas chambers, so he acts in revenge for his fallen family, comrades, and people. A former racecar driver, the glasses wearing redhead seems more at home working behind a desk, versus his life as a Nazi Hunter. Flanked by an interesting cast of spies, refugees, Disillusioned Nazis and British military officers, It was a refreshing cast of characters for sure.


Perhaps one of my only issues with this book is that it jumps in time a few times, so we really don’t get to see some of the side-characters very much. I would have loved to see some other missions before and after the ones we’ve seen, perhaps even the stuff from the handful of flashbacks. Characters like the man that I assumed was the principal villain, are no longer a factor after issue one, nor are other antagonists like the costumed vigilantes we see executing fleeing Jews. That isn’t to say the book is incomplete, I just enjoyed what we got so much, I want more of it.

I enjoyed this book a lot, and plan to seek more by Marvano – the script and art are both top-notch and the plot is especially great. As I have stated before, Dead Reckoning is perhaps my favorite publisher for Military-inspired comics, and they always seem to choose the best quality projects to back. This book makes me want to look for a prose book on postwar Europe to educate myself on some of the issues that went on after the war supposedly ended. I will confess that World War II history is not my strong suit, so this has really opened my eyes.

NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.
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Tackling a tricky subject this book manages to balance everything just right. It is both heartbreaking and maddening with beautiful art work and a story that has not been covered widely in mainstream culture. Highly recommended!
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From three quarters of a century's distance, World War Two can look like a neat, tidy, Good vs. Evil triumph with little messiness.  Along with the Garth Ennis war comics that have been published recently (not to mention classics like Catch-22), this short comic complicates that tidy picture through the lens of Jewish soldiers fighting at the tail end of the war and how the discovery of the Holocaust, the occupation of Germany, the punishment of Nazis, and the establishment of Israel were not neat and easy stories with clear good guys and bad guys.  Wish this story was longer as there seems like there is a lot to dig into here.
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I never got to read this because access to the book expired a month before publication date. I waited to read it closer to the publish date because I have memory issues stemming from a health condition. Now I can't read it and this is why I don't like using Net Galley - between the confusing UX and not having access to books I was approved for, I don't see why I should continue with this service. Best of luck to the creators of this book.
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While I found this interesting overall, I did find it hard to follow at points. I am unsure if it is just because of how small the timestamps are in the comic or if there isn't enough visual tell that we see a change in time, place, etc.

While I found the first 2/3 really interesting, the last third felt like it was written differently and did feel more like a piece of propaganda*.

Like much historical fiction, it must be done with good non-fiction resources to best consume this book.

*Propaganda: "Information, especially of a biased ... nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.
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The Jewish Brigade is a graphic novel that covers the story of two soldiers, Ari and Leslie, from the Jewish Brigade Group of the British army who travel around Europe in search of Nazi officers in hidding or about to scape, to kill them. In this journey they also save a jewish girl, who is taken to a camp for Jewish survivors and eventually is sent to Palestine. All this part of the Brigade's mission to accomodate survivors of the Holocaust where they'd feel welcomed.

What I liked about this graphic novel is that it tackles key aspects of the allied occupation and the struggles jewish survivors faced after the end of WWII succinctly; it doesn't shy away from the ani-semitism they still faced now in the hands of 'allies'. Furthermore the main characters, or dare I say, the ultimate main character Leslie, is fleshed out smartly trough few panels making it easier for the reader to root for him on his journey. I would have liked more depth for Ari, i feel his potential was wasted, however i understand it's important to show the dangers the Brigade went trough while helping the survivors.

We also get a glimpse of the Arab-Palestine conflict that already was brewing before the war and just got worse when nazis fled there to continue Hitler's goal with the help of the arabs, and the clandestine immigration of jewish refugees to Palestine.

The artwork by Berengere Marquebreuco is great, with economic use of color and inks and nice paneling. My favorite transition was when Leslie reminisced his past.

In conclusion, the intimate view this graphic novel provides serves a great introduction to these complex post-WWII conflicts that are seldom tackled in mainstream media, and invite the readers to investigate more about them in more academic sources.

Thanks for the ARC provided by Naval Institute Press through NetGalley for an honest review.
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It is a fine graphic art style and it has a civil war background. So it's a yes from me.
I enjoyed most of it. Quite remarkable portrait of the barbaric side of war and atrocities done. For the first two parts of it, I would've liked something a bit more detailed as it all appeared in fragments. I devoured the last part though.
This graphic novel has what it takes but it would've made greater sense in a detailed series version, I guess.
Lastly, thank you NetGalley and the publishers for providing this ARC.
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Great premise! Additionally, I really enjoyed the relationship between the three main characters. The illustrations and art featured in the graphic novel don't totally work.
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The Jewish Brigade is an interesting, albeit violent, story of the movements of a particular British group during and after World War II. It is definitely told from the side of Jewish supporters; I say this as a teacher who has worked in the Arab world, where this book would not have been considered acceptable. Still, it shows the atrocities and complexity of the war, and the problems that continued to exist after the formal end of the war. This is a book that I would put in my current classroom library.
Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this title.
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Confusing and wide ranging plot. Would have liked more focus on singular event - followed one character more than others but timeline was unclear. 

Post-WWII actions of Jewish Brigade operative in Europe. Uncovering atrocities, getting revenge (i.e. assassinating) former Nazis. Then quick flash to mandate Palestine around 1947-1948 and founding of Israel.
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This graphic novel shines light on an important era in history that is sadly largely unknown. I am grateful to have learned something about the Jewish Brigade through this book, which also helped expand my knowledge on the plight of Jews immediately following the end of WWII and the creation of the state of Israel. That being said, there were parts of this book that I found confusing to follow so it was a bit harder for me to get invested. Whether that is a function of the writing style itself or the fact that war history tends to be choppy and convoluted in nature or a combination of the two, I am unsure. Nonetheless, this at times tricky to follow plot line is why I couldn’t rate it higher despite the very important and interesting historical insights it provides.
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An interesting story about the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group, which was created directly after World War II, and came under the juridisdiction of the British Eighth Army. Basically it's a small group of soldiers who start out hunting down German officers who are doing their best to hide as German civilians, and later on developing into larger missions in the Middle-East.

These are harrowing tales, but with a personal, emotional undercurrent. Others have noted that they feel the book has a too open-ended ending, but I did not have that feeling. Not all story beats are tied up, but that somehow feels appropriate to a story set in the fractured years after the war.

This series has previously been published as three (slim) books, and is now collected for your convenience - something more and more publishers seem to finally be doing, which seems a good idea.
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The Jewish Brigade is the incredible story of what happened to the Jewish people in Germany after WWII ended, and the Jewish British soldiers who attempted to track down the nazi criminals before they fled to South America.  In school we’re taught that when the war ended, the Jews were freed from the concentration camps.  What we didn’t learn about was the large number of Jews who still died from illnesses they caught in the camps, and those who were murdered by their German neighbors when they returned home.  Some made it to Palestine, only to be attacked by the Arabs.  
This graphic novel beautifully depicts a very ugly time in history.  The story is intense but easy to follow.  I sure wish graphic novels were an option when I was studying history in school!
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It doesnt support or open after I download the protected pdf version of it.

It's also not showing in my shelf in netgalley and I cant open it to read

Please look into the issue and if you can send me the pdf in my mail ID- taniagungunsarkar@gmail.com 

I cant read the book from here. 

Please look into the issue and deliver me the book to review properly, moreover i was pretty excited about this book
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In October 1944, His Majesty's Jewish Infantry Brigade was established starting with over 5,ooo Jewish volunteers. Five long years of political debate. Five long years before the soldiers of the Jewish Brigade were allowed to travel with the eighth British Army. "...the Brits were never really that thrilled about the notion of giving Jews a chance to gain military experience on the front. They're afraid that experience might be used against them in Mandatory Palestine."

The Jewish Brigade fought alongside troops from other nations from March 1945 until the end of the war in May 1945. Their manpower and determination, fueled by the loss of family and friends in the Holocaust, spurred them on to help defeat the Germans in Italy. Some Jewish volunteers were concentration camp survivors.

In "The Jewish Brigade" a graphic novel written by Marvano with illustrations by Berengere Marquebreuco, the reader travels with two fictional soldiers, Ari and Leslie, as they searched for Nazi officers in hiding. They discovered a war criminal who had reinvented himself as a priest. He asked for mercy...Hmm. Safaya Mehringer, a young Jewish girl, had been protected and nurtured by nuns. Sister Maria taught all the children in her care how to speak English and other things that could "prove useful". Safaya begged Ari and Leslie to help her reach Palestine. How to get a safe conduct pass from the Russians? Provide cartons of Lucky Strike cigarettes. No liquor needed this time. Leslie continued to search for information about his mother and fiancee who were unaccounted for in the chaos of an unthinkable war. Some citizens looked the other way, disinterested in the plight of millions, while others worked for the Jewish Underground and tried to help displaced persons and freedom fighters get to Palestine. "...after the ovens, that's the only place we want to go." In 1948, Leslie arrived in Palestine with a cargo of arms. Israel's War of Independence would soon begin.

This graphic novel provided this reader with insights old and new, albeit, many disturbing facts about the Holocaust. "Some 30,000 Jewish volunteers from Palestine served with the British forces during WWII. (Jewish Brigade Group/Holocaust Encyclopedia) A most informative read I highly recommend.

Thank you Naval Institute Press and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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These comics are so good! I definitely recommend them for a personal collection. However, because they are pretty graphic I would not implement them into my classroom.
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I will confess I did a double take to ensure that I wasn't missing a page or three at the ending, as it does end as abruptly as other reviewers point out. An English publication of a Belgian series, it makes for a quick read that, while expositorily clunky at some points, still cuts its narrative path through Italy, Austria, and Palestine right up until the clock strikes Midnight on May 14th in 1948
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Great graphic novel option for students that don’t like reading long books. This is a great way for them to learn about World War II and what was happening with the Jews in Europe.
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