The Jewish Brigade

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Pub Date 18 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 17 Sep 2021

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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.

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...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781682477236
PRICE $24.95 (USD)

Average rating from 25 members

Featured Reviews

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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"The Jewish Brigade" graphic novel was published in 2016 and was written by Marvano (Mark van Oppen) ( He has authored or coauthored many graphic novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in Poland shortly after the end of World War II. The primary characters are Leslie and Ari, both British soldiers part of the Jewish Brigade. The Jewish Brigade was created as part of the British Army in 1944 and saw action primarily in Italy. It was made up of over 5000 volunteers from Mandatory Palestine.

Leslie and Ari are looking for Jewish refugees as well as former Nazis hiding among the population.

I enjoyed the 25 minutes I spent reading this 50-page WWII graphic novel. I normally do not pick graphic novels to review, but because this one dealt with WWII I decided to give it a try. It was an interesting story with very good artwork. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

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This was for me a very welcome return to the world of the Jewish Brigade, as I'd only seen the first third of this trilogy. No end of publishers' machinations will make me convinced it ever needed six covers to house it, when two will do, although it is in distinct parts. We start with two soldiers from the British-attached Jewish Brigade, hunting down Nazi bigwigs who thought they were living in safety and anonymity immediately post-war. This is a land (still unconvincingly Polish-looking) where some Jews are trying to go home, and still finding a distinct lack of welcome. The middle third splits our two guys up, but veers towards Graz, and a place whose Jews are definitely under the butcher's knife in the great carve-up of Europe between the Allies and the Soviets. The final part is different again, as the lead characters find themselves in what will become Israel – as long as the Arab Legion actually stop carrying on where Hitler was forced to leave off.

It's not a perfect book – Basil Exposition is here with clunking back-story reporting from the main characters more than once, and as I say the locales don't get the feel of the real thing. The characters turning up Zelig-like in multiple key places also rings false for what is actually such an important document, a reportage of anti-Zionist feeling across two continents. And of course, it will only split opinion, ending as it does with both a hopeful feel and the start of the first Arab-Israeli War, having proven as useful in covering the birth of Israel to the relevant depth as a potato peeler is in open-cast mining.

But I don't think you need to sell Zionism, or Israel, or justify what's gone on in the seventy years of her modern existence, when what you're concerned with is the Holocaust and the rippling echoes of it that reached across the continent and right through to the Levant. These pages are about the stung stinging back, about what happens when you goad a nationalism, and a patriotism, into a beleaguered people. It was most poignant to have read the first section a few years ago, when the opposition here in Britain were rampantly anti-Semitic. I was surprised how little the middle chunk showed such energising material, and I didn't find that part much cop at all. Things rally before the (to repeat, awkward) end, though, meaning this deserves its four stars.

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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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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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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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