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Immigrant Soldier

immigrant soldier ip awardImmigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy based on the true experiences of a refugee from Nazi Germany, combines a coming-of-age story with an immigrant tale and a World War II adventure. On a cold November morning in 1938, Herman watches in horror as his cousin is arrested. As a Jew, he realizes it is past time to flee Germany, a decision that catapults him from one adventure to another, his life changed forever by the gathering storm of world events. Gradually, Herman evolves from a frustrated teenager, looking for a place to belong, into a confident US Army intelligence officer who struggles with hate and forgiveness.

Immigrant Soldier
 is a good choice for Book Groups, Discussion questions downloadable here.



AWARDS earned by Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy:

  • Eric Hoffer Award, 2016, finalist in general fiction.
Eric Hoffer Finalist Seal
  • Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) 2015, Bronze medal in the Military/War Time Fiction category.
  • The US Review of Books, recommended review. To read it on their web-site, follow this link.

Other Awards

  • National Indie Excellence Award, Finalist in Military Fiction Category. 2016
  • Runner-up in genre fiction from the Los Angeles Book Festival, 2016
  • Silver medal rating from Mom's Choice Awards
  • Honorable mention in general fiction from the Southern California Book Festival, 2015
  • Runner-up in Biography/Autobiography from Hollywood Book Festival, 2016
  • Honorable Mention in History from Hollywood Book Festival, 2016


Support your local Independent Bookseller
Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy is available at the following Indie-bookstores:

Laguna Beach Books
1200 S. Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Quail Ridge Books and Music 
Ridgewood Shopping Center 3522 Wade Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27607

Powell's City of Books
1005 W. Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97209

Copperfields Books, San Rafael 
850 4th Street
San Rafael, CA 94901-3224

Black Sun Books
2467 Hilyard Street
Eugene, OR 97405
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 THE Bookstore at the San Juan Capistrano Public Library
31495-A El Camino Real
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Immigrant Soldier is also available at the following museum gift shops:
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW
Washington, DC. 20024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
National Museum of American Jewish Military History
1811 R. Street NW
Washington, DC. 20009
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
General Patton Memorial Museum
62510 Chiriaco Road
Chiriaco Summit, CA 92201
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The Legacy Shop
Illinois Holocaust Museum
9603 Woods Drive
Skokie, IL 60077
Pickman Museum Shop
Museum of Jewish Hertiage
36 Battery Place
New York, NY 10280
Holocaust Memorial Center, Zekelman Family Campus
28123 Orchard Lake Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
248-553-2400, ex 112

 Fort Ritchie Community Center
14421 Lake Royer Drive
Cascade, MD 21719

 "Immigrant Soldier"is available for purchase on Indiebound.org
"Immigrant Soldier"is available for purchase on Amazon.com
"Immigrant Soldier"is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble


Herman at Camp    Herman on top of Military Jeep
 Herman during desert training in California    Herman sorting German POWs for interrogation

Kirkus Reviews says:
In this debut historical novel, a young German Jew flees his homeland before World War II and is later drafted into the U.S. Army, serving closely under the legendary Gen. George S. Patton. Lang-Slattery effectively mines family history to create a solid work of historical fiction from her uncle’s real-life derring-do... In the sunny glamour of the book’s California passages, she effectively evokes the young immigrant’s overflowing hope, as he rides down a boulevard “lined with palm trees and Spanish-style stucco buildings painted white, tan, light green, and pale pink, their tile roofs glowing red and their arched entranceways offering a peek beyond to lush gardens and hidden patios.” Overall, her uncle’s fictionalized adventures never fail to interest, whether he’s slipping behind the lines for Patton or simply attempting to romance the local girls.  An often engaging tale of one man’s involvement in the world’s most horrific war. - Kirkus Review

Author's Notes

hermantableThis book, though it closely follows a true story, is a work of fiction.  The novel was based on hours and hours of conversation with my uncle, Herman Lang, between the years 1991 and 2006. All these interviews were recorded and transcribed. He loved telling humorous stories from his life and chuckled at his memories. He also shared with me his many albums of photos and news clippings. But when it came to details, Herman’s memory often failed. In order to bring time and place details to the story, I usually had to look elsewhere.  This led me down a long path of research. I traveled to London to interview Herman's older sister, Edith, and to Chicago to talk with Herman’s cousin, Leonora.  Through e-mail, telephone, and personal interviews I also was able to talk to other Ritchie Boys who lived through similar experiences.

The events in this book, as they pertain to Herman’s life, are totally based on his memories.  In the process of writing the novel, I have often needed to extract a short comment from Herman’s interviews and create from that snippet, a dramatic scene with conversation. I have also used the memories of other Ritchie Boys and historical research to inspire details.  

Because the historical background and how it affects Herman’s life is so important to this story, I have endeavored to make all historical data, whether it is the small details or the larger events, accurate and true. The events in Herman's life are basically as they actually happened. His friends, associates, and family are drawn from his memory or my own personal knowledge.  A few minor characters are composites based on other Ritchie Boys or are entirely fabricated by me.  When necessary, I have changed names slightly to protect the privacy of my sources. Historic personalities, such as General George Patton, Colonel Robert S. Allen, and the German, Richard Schulze, are in the book because their association with Herman actually occurred. These men are portrayed as accurately as I know how.  

Where real-life or historical figures appear, the scenes they participate in and dialogue they speak are products of the author’s imagination.  However, some of the public speeches made by historical figures in the novel (General Patton, Franklin D. Roosevelt) are taken from the public record and were actually spoken by them.

With the help of my sources, I endeavored to make the novel as true as possible. However any errors or inaccuracies are entirely my own.