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Exemplary Justice Hardcover – 24 Jun 1976

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: George G.Harrap & Co Ltd; First Edition edition (24 Jun. 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0245527753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0245527753
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,172,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the scheme of things the murder by Nazis of 50 British airmen POWs who took part in the 'Great Escape' does not amount to much given the scale of their atrocities. However it was the worst act of mass-murder against British or American POWs during the war. Instead of being investigated and prosecuted by the same team the prosecuted the other Nazis, this crime was left to the RAF to bring the perpetrators to justice. And they did.

Written in a non-sensationalist fashion this book is highly detailed about how the RAF investigated and arrested the members of the Gestapo over a space of three years. It also covers effors beyond the immediate post-war period as the last arrest for the murders took place in 1966.

If you think the film "The Great Escape" had an unsatisfactory ending and that the Germans got away with their killings, which were carried out on the direct orders of Hitler, then read this book. The RAF set the standard for future war crimes investigations, showing that time and distance were no protection for the guilty.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x98920c00) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x988c1864) out of 5 stars German Murderers of 50 POWs Punished 26 May 2006
By Jan Peczkis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book begins with an introduction to the Great Escape, and then goes in great detail into the search, apprehension, and trial of the German killers of 50 of the 73 escaped POWs from Stalag Luft III. The book includes Anthony Eden's speech condemning the murders and dismissing the bogus German contentions justifying them. Although most of the proceedings took place in the first two years after the war, the last proceeding against a criminal was in the late 1960's.

Although the bodies of the murdered POWs had been cremated in order to hide the manner of death (point-blank shooting in the back and certainly not "shot while trying to re-escape"), this did not erase the incriminating evidence. Some of the crematorium attendants had actually sketched the sites of the bullet holes in the bodies. Other lines of evidence were seemingly innocuous, including a photo of a Gestapo man (Johannes Post) on skis with his mistress, and pornographic drawings of Gestapo men in a Czech inn.

One unique feature of this book is the presentation of lists at the end of the book. One list gives significant events in the pursuit of justice relevant to the 50 murdered airmen. Another lists the chief Germans responsible for the murders, giving their fate (at large, in custody, killed in the latest stages of the war, suicide, acquittal, imprisonment, or execution).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x986aaf60) out of 5 stars War crimes-then and now 30 Dec. 2014
By T. Washington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
War crimes and the pursuit of their perpetrators are ALWAYS topical( in fact they may even be more topical nowadays than in March 1944, when up to FIFTY escaping RAF personnel were summarily shot after their recapture by SS and Gestapo officers on Hitler's personal instructions; the "exemplary justice" of the title was used by the then Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden in a statement to the House of Commons when he vowed that the German mass murderers would be "brought to exemplary justice" after the war>
Easier said than done(esp given the ruin and disorganization of Germany in particular and Europe as a whole after the war) but a hnd picked team from the RAF's Police Branch(which in 1950 was renamed the Special Investigation Branch by King George VI) led by Squadron Leader( a rank equivalent to Major in the US Air Force and Army) McKenna painstakingly hunted down the perpetrators and succeeded in sending several of the leading men to either the gallows(where they were hanged on February 18, 1948) or to prison for very LONG periods.
it would be comforting to think that such barbarities are simply historical but given reports from places as differetn as Syria, Iraq and more recently Ukraine, it looks as if war crimes investigators will be needed for the foreseeable future!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98bdda98) out of 5 stars A very detailed look at the post-war investigation of the murders of those involved in the "Great Escape". 26 Dec. 2012
By Mark E. Buday - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author provides a very detailed account of the RAF legal team that tracked down and documented those involved in murdering 50 of the Allied flyers involved in the March 1944 "Great Escape."
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