Facing the Enemy: How a Nazi Youth Camp in America Tested a Friendship

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
December 2023
4 hours 17 minutes
What do you do when your best friend becomes the enemy?
Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, in the 1930s, Benjy Puterman and Tommy Anspach have always done everything together. It never mattered that Benjy was Jewish and Tommy was of German heritage. But as Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party come to power in Germany and war brews in Europe, everything changes. Tommy is sent to Camp Nordland, a Nazi youth camp for German Americans, where he quickly learns that Jews are the enemy. Heartbroken by the loss of his friend, Benjy forms a teen version of the Newark Minutemen, an anti-Nazi vigilante group, all the while hoping that Tommy will abandon his extremist beliefs.
Will Benjy and Tommy be able to overcome their differences and be friends again?
Based on the true story of the Newark Minutemen and the New Jersey pro-Nazi German youth camp, this daring and powerful novel in verse reveals the long history of American right-wing extremism, and its impact on the lives of two ordinary teens. A story that unfortunately still rings true today.
“Facing the Enemy offers a frightening glimpse into a little-known slice of America’s history. Two best friends—one Jewish and one of German heritage—pit themselves against each other as antisemitism rises alongside German nationalism in a corner of New Jersey in the years leading up to World War II.
Poetry is the perfect form for this well-researched, chilling read.”—Kip Wilson, award-winning author of White Rose
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