Bryan Mark Rigg
Rigg discovered a large number of "Mischlinge" (part-Jews) who were members of the National Socialist German Workers Party (or "Nazi" Party) and/or served in the German Armed Forces during World War Two.
His work has been featured in the New York Times and on programs including NBC Dateline and Fox News. Raised up as a Baptist Christian, he discovered he was of Jewish descent, converted to Judaism and served as a volunteer in the Israeli Army. He also later served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
His assembled documents, videotapes, and wartime memoirs on the subject are presented as the Bryan Mark Rigg Collection at the Military Archives branch of the Federal German Archives (Bundesarchiv) in Freiburg, Germany.
His book Hitler's Jewish Soldiers earned him the Colby Award (for first books in military history) in 2003.
Born and raised as a Baptist Christian, Rigg studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, continued on to Yale University, and received his B.A. in 1996. He received a grant from the Henry Fellowship, to continue his studies in Cambridge University. That summer he went to Germany, and met Peter Millies, an elderly man who helped Rigg understand the German in a movie they were watching, Europa Europa, about Shlomo Pearl, a Jew who served in the Nazi army. Millies later told Rigg that he himself was a part-Jew, and introduced him to the subject which was to become his main research topic for many years.
Back at Cambridge, Rigg offered the subject as his thesis, but was rejected on the grounds that it was "dead end science". Upon insisting, he finally received a year off, and small funding from Cambridge for a research trip back to Germany, under Professor Jonathan Steinberg. Steinberg contacted the media about the future research, which caused much debate about the scientific value of the outcome. During this year, traveling under harsh conditions on bicycle throughout Germany, he gathered over four hundred recorded interviews, with "Mischling"s of this sort. He also discovered that he had Jewish origins. He followed up on the trip to Sweden, Turkey, Canada, and finally Israel.
Rigg has done humanitarian activities in Romania, Bulgaria, the Bahamas, South Africa, and France.
Recent activities: Bryan Mark Rigg worked in the Private Banking Division of Credit Suisse as a Private Wealth Manager from 2006 to 2008. He has set up his own firm called RIGG Wealth Management.
After serving as an officer in the US Marine Corps, he became a professor at Southern Methodist University and American Military University from 2000 to 2006.
David Cesarani, professor for Jewish history in Southampton, England, and Raul Hilberg, emeritus of the University of Vermont judge Rigg’s work negatively, because they believe Rigg’s thesis is presented in a sensationalistic and unbalanced way.
Some scholars also resent that Rigg tried to gain public attention when his work was still in an early stage. Other scholars, like Richard J. Evans, history professor in Cambridge, and Omer Bartov, history professor at Brown University, consider the titles of Rigg's books, such as Hitler's Jewish Soldiers, misleading, because the books are not about Jews but in most cases about "mixed jews" as defined by National Socialist racial science but not according to the Jewish laws of blood.
- Hitler's Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military, University Press of Kansas, 2002. ISBN 978-0-7006-1358-8
- Rescued from the Reich: How one of Hitler's Soldiers Saved the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Yale University Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-300-11531-4
- The Untold Stories of Hitler's Jewish Soldiers University of Kansas Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7006-1638-1
- Hitler Strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology, and Atrocity (review) Holocaust and Genocide Studies - Volume 19, Number 1, Spring 2005, pp. 127–129
- Meno Burg (1789–1853), the highest ranking Jewish officer in the Prussian army.
- Yale biography "He returned to his family in Texas, where he had grown up as a devout Baptist..."
- A short biography of Rigg appended to the book review from the University of Kansas Press website.
- This is Zionism about Rigg's study and personal interest in the subject.
- [He returned to his family in Texas, where he had grown up as a devout Baptist Yale biography] "He now identifies himself as Jewish...". See also Not Really Jewish? Where a Jewish woman with a non-Jewish mother discusses maternal hereditary Jewish nationality with Prof. Rigg.
- Archived profile from the Jerusalem Post about Rigg saved on FailedMassiah anti-Orthodox Jewish website
- Rigg's biography on StengerHistoria a website for German soldiers, and research about German military history. See also the Thanksgiving Square interfaith organization, and his speech at the Dallas Baptist Church.
- a pointer to Rigg's book On Holocaust Teachers website
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