on 16 October 2004
I was looking for a book about the polish campaign, in particular from the military point of view. I knew that talking about it means talking about Einsatzgruppen, SS and Wehrmacht atrocity against Jews and Polish 'Intelligentsia'.
In fact, the Rossino's study focuses only on these Killing Mobile Units, telling about the campaign main course only to place the testimonies of atrocities in a cronological context.
Beware, if you are searching a military point of view this is not the book for you. If you want an Einsatzgruppen story and a great study about Wehrmacht and SS collaboration (you'll discover that sometimes the Wehrmacht hindered the former tasks) for the Untermensch destruction, buy it. If you proudly display a WWII library, buy it anyway. But buy also Browning's Ordinary Men.
The 3 stars comes out not from the above statements but from the book boring attitude. The work is well researched and Mr. Rossino is a competent scholar. The goal was not to entertain us, but to teach a piece of history and he accomplished the task. The problem is that he didn't even try to make the reading more pleasant.
A study about an olocaust should not entertain you, but could possibly stimulate your attention.
Too much plain stats can drive you mad. I finished it only because I finish every book. I made it in two months and in the meantime I read 6 other books.
If you, too, will finish it, you'll get a deep comprehension of the matter. Then you'll proudly put it on the shelves and never take it again.
I'm an Assistant of a Law University Professor and I know that no subject is necessarily boring. The first and fundamental challenge is to teach well. The second is to maintain an high level of interest of the listeners (and readers).
Unfortunately, Mr. Rossino did not take care of the latter goal.