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The past is the greatest mystery of all
on 28 July 2015
The past is full of mysteries. It could be said that our exploration of the past, to ascertain why things happened, to speculate on the outcome of X occurring instead of Y, is the greatest mystery of all.
To my mind, there is no greater mystery in modern history as to why Germany descended into such barbarity. That the country of Einstein, Bauhaus, Goethe, Kant, Fredrick the Great, et al, should descend into such wanton cultural vandalism, such reckless regard for the sanctity of human life, shall remain a puzzle.
Chief amongst the adherents of the new world order the Nazis created, were the SS. Much mythologised, rightfully maligned, the SS has always had a reputation as an elite vanguard of Nazi doctrine, the ever faithful and loyal Pretorian guard of the Third Reich.
As always, the truth lies somewhere in between. That the SS contained some of the finest fighting troops in the Third Reich is without question. That the SS contained some of the worst fighting troops in the Third Reich, is a subject that has seen much glossing over.
It's to Weale's credit that he highlights this much overlooked fact.
Thoroughly researched, written with a scholar's eye, and at times depressing, Weale's account is an excellent look into arguably, the most repugnant organizations of modern times.