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The Malmedy Massacre: The War Crimes Trial Controversy Hardcover – 14 Mar 2017
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A first-rate book. Remy s superb analysis shows how virtually every element of the standard narrative on the Malmedy trials is wrong. --Devin Pendas, Boston College"
About the Author
Steven P. Remy is Associate Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
But this is the type of interpretive disagreement that normally takes place among historians. Interpretive disagreement is appropriate; misstatement of another author's position is not. Remy misrepresents my overall judgment of the crucial sworn statements, without which the Malmedy case probably would not have come to trial. On page 276 of his book, he quotes me as saying that the defendants' sworn statements were "transparently worthless" and later on the same page claims that to be my assessment of all of the prosecution evidence.. Even a cursory reading of the page in my Crossroads of Death (p.148) on which "transparently worthless" occurs makes it obvious that it applies not to the defendants' sworn statements, much less to all of the prosecution evidence, but to a handful of highly unpersuasive affidavits relevant to LaGleize by two American soldiers and and several German POWs who were not defendants. My overall assessment of the sworn statements appears on page 258 of Crossroads of Death: "This analysis does not imply that the sworn statements were entirely false. Many -- probably all --contained partial truths. Some may have been entirely factual. War crimes had been committed and Waffen-SS troopers of Kampfgruppe Peiper had committed them. But the circumstances under which they were elicited must produce very grave doubts as to the overall truthfulness of this block of evidence...." Professor Remy is free to challenge that position, but not an imaginary one that he incorrectly attributes to me.
Since Parker quotes original documents extensively, I found myself familiar with most of what was being quoted. I found one or two new things, particularly one item claiming that Peiper admitted ordering a prisoner to be shot in the Hans Hillig matter.
I did enjoy reading the section about how they coaxed the enlisted men to talk, and a lengthy quote from testimony transcript.
The author's premise takes the Ghengis Khan terror quote argument hook line and sinker, arguing that the Waffen SS was the combat equivalent of the Einsatzgruppen with a mission to terrorize the enemy. Several comments speak of the Waffen SS, the Einsatzgruppen, and concentration camp guards as if they were acting together as one.
In other places the author would phrase something in his own words and close the sentence with a quote that I had already read in full, so I knew that he was using the quote incorrectly. Overall the books reflects a lack of familiarity with the subject matter and source material and a strong bias. Then he tries to apply this to modern politics to make a social statement.
Don't waste your time with this book. Danny S. Parker is the pre-eminent and unbiased authority on Peiper. His biography, Hitler's Warrior, is the standard biography. The book, Fatal Crossroads, is the definitive work on the Malmedy Massacre, and his soon to be published 3 volume work, Peiper's War, will cover Peiper the soldier.
Perhaps 1 star is too harsh, but there are too many Malmedy books available already, with most biased for or against Peiper. In 2017, I would have expected a new book from Harvard University to resolve the contention and chart a fresh course, but instead has contributed to the count of biased books.