What does it mean to have a father who participated in mass murder? This is the agonizing question asked of the children of prominent Nazis in this illuminating addition to the dark literature of the Nazi past. 8-page photo insert.What does it mean to have a father who participated in mass murder? This is the agonizing question asked of the children of prominent Nazis in this illuminating addition to the dark literature of the Nazi past. 8-page photo insert.Read Less
Think for a monent of the monumental changes in Europe following WW2 . Then place this book in the context of trying to understand what would happen if your father was a Nazi . Some what short on insight but long on narrative
Publishers Weekly, 2001-07-30 In 1959, German journalist Norbert Lebert set out to interview the offspring of former Nazi leaders young adults with surnames like Himmler and Hess, Bormann and Gering. Six years after Norbert's death in 1993, his son Stephan, a journalist, discovered the interviews among his father's papers and set out to re-interview the children, now senior citizens. Gudrun Himmler and Edda Gering refused. But Wolf-Rediger Hess, Martin Bormann Jr., Niklas and Norman Frank, and Klaus von Schirach were all willing. This is a powerful book, masterfully conceived, brilliant and devastating. The original interviews are interspersed between Stephan's conversations with (or in the case of Himmler and Gering, about) the former young adults who sat with his father. Other chapters explore the parent-child relationship and the nature of evil as they emerge from those conversations. The depth and complexity of the parent-child bond is evident throughout the book, whether the child in question has embraced (Burwitz, Hess) or rejected (Niklas Frank, Bormann) the values and beliefs of the father. Because he's viewing events from a greater distance, Stephan is able to raise a number of wide-ranging questions exploring the reasons behind the national outrage when Niklas Frank published a brutal piece detailing the depth of his hatred toward his father, former governor-general of Poland, and musing on the country's collective denial of individual responsibility during the war. There is much more to be written about the psychology and emotional life of the generation of Germans that fought WWII. But the Leberts have done a remarkable job of breaking a trail through the morass of repression and denial obscuring issues that will continue to disquiet future generations. 20 b&w photos. (Sept. 17) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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