THE BEST REVIEW EVER! The Jewish Brigade
TITLE: THE JEWISH BRIGADE
PUBLISHER: Naval Institute Press
WRITER: Mark van Oppen
TRANSLATOR: Montana Kane
ILLUSTRATOR: Mark van Oppen
COLORS: Berengere Marquebreucq
LETTERS: Sylvain Dumas
COVER: Mark van Oppen
SUMMARY: 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.
COMMENTS: Historically The Jewish Infantry Brigade Group, was a military formation of the British Army in the Second World War. It was formed in late 1944 and was recruited among Yishuv Jews from Mandatory Palestine and commanded by Anglo-Jewish officers. It served in the latter stages of the Italian Campaign and was disbanded in 1946. After the war, some members of the Brigade assisted Holocaust survivors to emigrate to Mandatory Palestine as part of Aliyah Bet, in defiance of British restrictions. In this story, we follow Ari Feigenbaum, and Leslie Toliver, British Soldiers traveling through post-war Europe killing Nazis in hiding. They join together with Safaya Mehringer, a Jewish child orphaned by the Nazis and raised by Nuns. The story gives a nice history of the British Jewish Infantry Brigade. A unit of 5,500 Jewish volunteers who fought the Nazis. During the course of the story, Ari Feigenbaum leaves the unit to guide his people towards Palestine, while Leslie Toliver continues hunting Nazis. We follow Leslie Toliver and Safaya Mehringer from the end of the war in Europe until the formation of the state of Isreal. This comic was originally printed in Belgium in 2013 under the title La Brigade Juive, it was then translated by Montana Kane for Europe Comics in 2016. Montana’s translation is very good and tells the story well. The story was originally broken up into separate issues and this is the first English language collection. Highly recommended for WWII buffs, those interested in Jewish history, and anyone who likes a compelling story with strong characters.