Citizen 865

The Hunt for Hitler's Hidden Soldiers in America
Narrated by: Robert Fass
Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: History, 21st Century
5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The gripping story of a team of Nazi hunters at the US Department of Justice as they raced against time to expose members of a brutal SS killing force who disappeared in America after World War Two.

In 1990, in a drafty basement archive in Prague, two American historians made a startling discovery: a Nazi roster from 1945 that no Western investigator had ever seen. The long-forgotten document, containing more than 700 names, helped unravel the details behind the most lethal killing operation in World War Two. 

In the tiny Polish village of Trawniki, the SS set up a school for mass murder and then recruited a roving army of foot soldiers, 5,000 men strong, to help annihilate the Jewish population of occupied Poland. After the war, some of these men vanished, making their way to the US and blending into communities across America. Though they participated in some of the most unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust, "Trawniki Men" spent years hiding in plain sight, their terrible secrets intact.

In a story spanning seven decades, Citizen 865 chronicles the harrowing wartime journeys of two Jewish orphans from occupied Poland who outran the men of Trawniki and settled in the United States, only to learn that some of their one-time captors had followed. A tenacious team of prosecutors and historians pursued these men and, up against the forces of time and political opposition, battled to the present day to remove them from US soil.

Through insider accounts and research in four countries, this urgent and powerful narrative provides a front row seat to the dramatic turn of events that allowed a small group of American Nazi hunters to hold murderous men accountable for their crimes decades after the war's end.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Debbie Cenziper (P)2019 Hachette Books

Critic Reviews

"With much human interest, Cenziper draws out all the implications for principles of justice for victims and perpetrators of unspeakable crimes." (Booklist, starred review)

"Citizen 865 reads like a thriller, but it is so much more... [It] tells an essential and unknown tale of post-war justice and the search for truth, linking the events of the Holocaust to the familiar, more recent past. Telling this story of a decades-long quest for justice is itself an act of justice." (Ariel Burger, author of Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom and winner of the National Jewish Book Award in Biography)

"This is a gripping tale, which reads at times like a novel. Just when you thought you knew everything about the Holocaust, we learn about the uniquely devastating role of the Trawniki training center. At a time of rising anti-Semitism, Debbie Cenziper's Citizen 865 offers a harrowing reminder of the consequences of unchecked racism and anti-Semitism. And it serves as a repository of hope - that the leadership of good men and women could bring a measure of justice to the world in the face of such overwhelming evil." (Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League)

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Educational historical story

After, witnessing citizen 865 departure from the U.S., following the path that leads to his revoked citizenship was intriguing.

1 person found this helpful