Famous comic book artist and creator Joe Kubert has drawn a six-part series for DC comics. Sergent Rock: The Prophesy, ‘based’ on Brian Mark Rigg’s book Rescued From the Reich, "tells the story" of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn’s rescue from the Nazis early in WW2. The New York Jewish Week reports:
A U.S. Army reconnaissance unit parachutes into Vilna in 1943.
Surrounded by the Nazi and Russian armies, under heavy shelling, the American soldiers rendezvous with a Lithuanian partisan, a bearded hulk of a man named Bear. Stepping out of the rubble, Bear declares “We got package for you, very valuable, very … breakable.”
Then the soldiers overpower a pair of German tanks. Bear and the resistance fighters find refuge from the barrage in the shell of a building. Bear departs, and returns with his “very valuable package,” someone covered with a cloak.…
Kubert’s story is based on a true tale, the rescue of Rabbi Joseph Schneersohn, leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch chasidic movement, from Warsaw in 1940. It was the subject of Bryan Mark Rigg’s 2004 book “Rescued from the Reich: How One of Hitler’s Soldiers Saved the Lubavitcher Rebbe.”
A friend gave Kubert the book last year. “I felt it was a real interesting story,” he said.
Rigg’s book does tell an interesting story, but it is not the story Joe Kubert tells. Kubert has changed the facts and distorted the story to make his comic book more exciting. This would be fine if no mention was made about the historical event that inspired him. To to promote the comic book on that event while distorting that event in the comic book is reprehensible.
Perhaps DC Comics can clarify the issue and explain their marketing. I’ll keep you posted.
For the actual details of the rescue along with other posts about Chabad and the Holocaust, please click the Chabad and the Holocaust link at the bottom of this post, scroll down to the bottom of the page and read upward. Thank you.
UPDATE: In this article written last month, Kubert describes the rabbi as a "snotty kid." I’m still waiting a reply from DC Comics, but it appears the comic book does not mention the Lubavitcher Rebbe by name, and does not mention Rigg’s book either, so the only link between Chabad and the comic book is the Jewish Week article linked above. This would explain why Chabad’s spinmeisters have not yet attacked Kubert. I suspect this will turn out to be a case where Kubert simply wanted to acknowledge Rigg’s book for the basic idea of a rabbi being rescued from the clutches of the Nazis, but no more than that. Perhaps he even made this clear in his Jewish Week interview, but the JW blew the coverage. Or, perhaps he was not clear enough. More on this if and when DC Comics and others involved respond.