At the end of the Second World War, some of the highest ranking Nazis escaped from justice, Aided and abetted by the Vatican, they travelled down secret 'rat lines' and were taken in by shady Argentine secret agents. Vengeful Holocaust survivors and inept politicians attempted to bring them to justice and there were daring plots to kidnap or assassinate the fugitives.
Guy Walters has travelled the world in pursuit of the real account of how the Nazis escaped at the end of the war, the attempts to bring them to justice, and what happened to those that got away.
This is a comprehensive look at the lives of prominent Nazis who got away, the efforts made by some to track them down, and the surprising lack of effort by various agencies and governments who actively helped war criminals to escape at the end of the war or who turned a blind eye. As well as household names like Mengele, Barbie, Eichmann, we hear the stories of lesser known or unknown players as they are cleverly interwoven. We meet victims of persecution, torture, deportation, and death, the perpetrators and adminstrators of these acts, 'Nazi hunters' (successful and otherwise), military personnel, politicians - a vast array of people on all sides and at all levels. Compiling all of the material would have been a mammoth task and Guy Walters has done a remarkable job in compiling the evidence and presenting it in such a readable and compelling manner. Daniel Philpott's reading is superb - he has a very pleasant voice and accent, and is a pleasure to listen to. Importantly for a book of this type, it sounds as though he is a German native speaker so all his pronunciations of German names and words are spot-on, and his pronunciations and accents in the numerous other languages in this book are admirable. This is not an 'easy' read, it requires concentration, but it held my attention throughout and I learned a great deal. Highly recommended for anyone interested in WWII and its aftermath, the way governments and other bureaucracies work, human nature, and the interplay of expediency and principle.
This is a magnificent listen. I thought I knew most of the history of the WW2 war crimes. This taught me that I did not. Every school pupil should be made to listen or read this story, to ensure it never happens again. Very difficult to comprehend the atrocities carried out by these people, both the war criminals and the allies in using them after the war. The most appalling part of the story for me was the complicity of the Catholic church in helping the Nazi war criminals to escape the justice they so thoroughly deserved.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
the information is very detailed but very dry and rather repetitive. Also the author's style makes it hard to follow, being digressive and over detailed. The narration is good.
However as a car driving listener I never had that feeling of wanting to go on with the story and indeed have plodded through it in short chunks when i can think of nothing better to do. Indded after several months i still have not finished it.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
I approached this with interest but some anxiety; would it be just another retelling of Nazi atrocities - important and never to be forgotten but one might hope for more. This book delivers, up to a point. It is meticulously researched and this shows in the way that the author demolishes the reputation of Simon Wiesenthal, presenting him as a charlatan, playing on the sympathies of guilty nations attracted to the concept of the lone Jewish warrior for truth. Walter's forensic development of a small number of war criminals' stories is authoritative. His dismissal of the Odessa 'myth' of a powerful neo-Nazi network is utterly convincing.
The weakness of this book is the structure. For the life of me I cannot fathom the narrative of this book. It bounces from one character to the next, crossing decades within a paragraph and with the merest of linkages. It is a great shame, because this is a very detailed, authoritative narrative, hopelessly let down by a shambolic structure.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful
Like the majority the crimes committed by the Nazis sicken me. However, I has for sometime sought a fact based book describing the 'war' to bring them to justice. I knew that this had not been widely achieved but am disgusted that 'we' (as in the International community) never achieved even a major proportion of justice for those slaughtered by the Nazis.
As a British subject I am also disgusted by our complicity in employing Nazis after the war. Our only redeeming factor being Maggies forcing through of the 1991 War Crimes Act.
A great book which for me gave me the information I sought. I whole heartedly recommend it to those wishing to know the truth!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful