Kulish and Mekhennet have managed to fill the pages of The Eternal Nazi with a wealth of history, not just about the search for Dr. Heim but the overall process of searching for SS members that went into hiding following the end of WWII. The initial chaos following the war caused by the four occupation zones setup, US, France, Britain and Soviet allowed for an easy escape or overlooking of SS members and their level of ranking in the Nazi regime. The zones did not always work with each other and share information freely, information was still being gathered and catalogued and then the beginning of the Cold War shifted attention.
A few dedicated men and women worked to continue gathering and cataloging this information. Their task wasn't easy, trying to track eye witnesses down for statements and how do you keep the pressure for resolution on an issue that Germany would rather not have to trudge through and the allied forces have a new threat to focus on? In the Eternal Nazi we follow along on this journey of discovery and learn about the changing attitude of the powers that be and the public on the war crimes committed and how that played into finding and charging people. At times the book did bounce between storylines and require me to go back and re-read a few sections to refocus on the individual being talked about.
For those really interested in the history of the various facets of WWII, they should find the story informative on the behind the scenes turmoil faced by Alfred Aedtner and Simon Wiesenthal. Learn how an American made film had an impact on the investigations and a disagreement between Wiesenthal and survivor Elie Wiesel. All while you ponder the reality that Heim lived undetected for an eternity, but at what cost to those family members that he left behind? Sadly, some may find this too anti-climatic of a story to enjoy, but for those willing to give history a chance and relish in reading non-fiction history books have at it.
Release date: March 25, 2014
Hardcover Edition: 978-0385532433
Kindle Edition: B00FIN0UVI
Audio ISBN: 978-0804166416
FTC disclosure: I received an unedited advanced reader copy of this book to review from the publisher Random House Doubleday. I was not financially compensated by the publisher, Edelweiss or the author. (via Edelweiss)
Title: The Eternal Nazi: From Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim
Author: Nicholas Kulish and Souad Mekhennet
Publisher: Doubleday (2014)
Source: Personal Library (ARC)
Format Read: Advanced Reader PDF from publisher
Genres/Subjects: Non-Fiction, History, 20th Century, WWII, Holocaust, War Crimes
[Notice: Original posting 2014-03-25 at Plethora of Books Blog: http://bookchallenges.weebly.com]
Tags: 2014, ARC, History, Non-Fiction