Hitler's Foreign Executioners: Europe's Dirty Secret Hardcover – 10 May 2011
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"Prodigiously researched." --The Jewish Book Council
"Prodigiously researched." The Jewish Book Council"
About the Author
CHRISTOPHER HALE is a writer and television documentary-maker. His previous book, Himmler's Crusade (Bantam, 2003), won the prestigious Giuseppe Mazotti Prize in 2006. He has produced and directed programmes for the BBC, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel. He lives in Berlin and his website is www.christopherhale.co.uk.
Top customer reviews
This work does spend most of it's time with the Baltic States and the Ukraine. But this is justified by the lack of attention this area of Europe has received to date. The Author also spends some time on the whole question of how they should be regarded by the present inhabitants. This is most significant among those who seek to make the volunteers 'resistance' against the Red Army and the USSR.
I am reminded of the strange rumour that after 1945, in Hungary, before the communist coup of 1949,the surviving members of the infamous Arrow Cross fascist party joined the AVO, the communist militia that became the most vicious of the communist secret police. Even the USSR had to order the communists to restrain them!
even now, fascism is making something of a comeback, with the likes of Jobbik in Hungary and the Golden Dawn in Greece. To paraphrase Berchtold Brecht, in the ending to 'Arturo Ui'
Do not rejoice you men
The beast that bore him is on heat again.
All in all A great book well executed which brings colour to those innvolved and will keep you looking for spare moments in the day to read more of it. One of teh better books I have read this year
According to Christopher Cole, Heinrich Himmler, the leader of the SS, had an almost unbelievably ambitious plan to create an SS empire which would, in time, supersede both the National Socialist Party and its leader Adolf Hitler. This 'SS Europa' would bring together 'Germanic' peoples from all over Europe, Germanise them further and dissolve their national identities. The first stage of this master plan called for the 'chosen' people to be bound together in perpetuity through the shedding of a 'blood sacrifice' in a joint war of total annihilation against the Nazis' two pet hates, Jewry and Bolshevism. In this book, Cole asserts that Europe's dirty secret is that nearly half a million Europeans and more than a million former Soviet citizens rallied to this call and enlisted in the armed forces of the Third Reich to wage a brutal, ideological war against what was essentially a mythical enemy, the "Jewish-Bolshevik". He argues that the Holocaust was not, in fact, solely a German crime at all but a European phenomenon and one which modern-day Europe seems very reluctant to even acknowledge, let alone come to terms with. In "Hitler's Foreign Executioners" Christopher Cole shows that SS recruitment of foreign men was not, as many historians claim, merely a way of providing cannon-fodder for the eastern front but was the first stage of a half-mad plan by Heinrich Himmler and his SS fanatics to racially re-engineer the European continent along more Nordic lines. It was a plan which caused a bitter split at the very top of the Third Reich and contributed greatly to the demise of the man Hitler once thought of as "loyal Heinrich".
This is a fascinating and engaging book, well-researched and well-argued. I'd recommend it to anyone who is interested in Second World War history, the darker side of human nature and the sinister underbelly of modern European history and politics.
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