Obituary – Cause of Death : “Guy Stern, German Refugee Who Became WW2 Interrogation Expert, Dies at 101”

By | December 17, 2023



Title: Guy Stern, German Jew Who Fought Against Antisemitism, Dies at 101


Guy Stern, a remarkable individual who escaped the rising antisemitism in Nazi Germany and later played a crucial role in World War II as an interrogator for a military intelligence program, has passed away at the age of 101. Born in Germany, Stern fled to the United States to start a new life but eventually returned to Europe to serve his adopted country. While the cause of his death remains unknown, his legacy as a survivor and advocate against hatred and discrimination will continue to inspire future generations.

Biography and Early Life

Guy Stern was born in Hildesheim, Germany, in 1922. As a young teenager, he witnessed the rapid rise of antisemitism under Adolf Hitler’s regime. Recognizing the danger, Stern’s family made the difficult decision to send him to the United States in 1937 to escape the persecution and provide him with a chance for a better future.

Life in the United States


Upon arriving in the United States, Stern settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended high school and later enrolled at Washington University. In 1942, Stern was drafted into the United States Army and served in the 5th Infantry Division. Recognizing his exceptional intellect and language skills, the military selected Stern to be part of the Ritchie Boys, a specialized intelligence unit.

Role as an Interrogator and Legacy

As a member of the Ritchie Boys, Stern underwent intensive training in interrogation techniques. He was deployed to Europe, where he played a vital role in extracting valuable intelligence from prisoners of war. Stern’s ability to speak multiple languages fluently, including German, French, and English, proved invaluable in his work.

After the war, Guy Stern continued to contribute to society as an educator and scholar. He earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and went on to become a professor, teaching German and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati for over three decades. Stern also served as the director of the International Institute for Holocaust Research and Education at the University of Cincinnati, further dedicating his life to raising awareness about the atrocities of the Holocaust and fighting against antisemitism.

Throughout his life, Stern received numerous accolades for his contributions. In 2019, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor, one of France’s highest honors, for his bravery during World War II. Stern’s legacy will forever be remembered as a symbol of resilience, courage, and the fight against hatred.


Guy Stern’s remarkable life journey, from escaping Nazi Germany to becoming a revered interrogator and educator, has left an indelible mark on history. His story serves as a reminder of the importance of standing up against discrimination and the enduring power of the human spirit. While the exact cause of his death remains unknown, Guy Stern’s legacy will continue to inspire generations to come, ensuring that his contributions to the fight against antisemitism and his commitment to education and understanding are never forgotten..


@nytimesworld said Guy Stern, who fled rising antisemitism in Nazi Germany at 15 for a new life in the United States but returned to Europe during World War II as a member of a military intelligence program that trained him to interrogate prisoners of war, has died at 101.