on 22 November 2012
I was interested initially as I live near to Trent Park, where most of the eavesdropping took place, and had walked past the old house without knowing it's history. It is now part of Middlesex University campus.
Once into the transcripts themselves it was difficult to put down, the thoughts of front-line generals, and these were fighting men for the most part, were fascinating. Seemingly banal passages are suddenly set alight by the intrusion of some gruesome detail.
on 2 October 2010
The myth of an "unblemished Wehrmacht" is further undermined by this solid piece of primary research into the recorded transcripts of a hitherto little known British Intelligence operation which targeted high-ranking Wehrmacht officers who were held PoW Interrogation Camps in and around London (Trent Park being the main facility). Using state-of-the-art bugging equipment, the UK project's leaders were able to obtain a rare insight into what these men really thought about a variety of topics, including the course of German politics and strategy (c.1942-1945), German racial policy and reaction to the attempt on Hitler's life in July 1944. The disagreements which ensued between the prisoners on these issues is highly instructive. This is a must-read for any serious student of the Third Reich.
The book is divided into three sections. Section One serves as an Introduction, where Professor Neitzel explains a little about the research methods used, as well as elaborating upon the mechanics of the surveillance process. He then proceeds to give a detailed survey of the main subjects of discussion of the prisoners (outlined above).
Section Two is the main body of the text, with 216 pages of transcript material. Section Three is comprised of short biographies of all the key players, of which there are eighty seven.
Those who choose to read this book should brace themselves for a few surprises.
on 30 October 2007
Soenke Neitzel has used unique material: original voice of German officers in relatively unguarded moments. His introduction is sensible. My grandfather (my mother's father) features prominently and he is - in my mind at least - not treated unjust, neither in the selection of materials nor in the introduction. But I think this book is also interesting for anyone with an interest in the times and certainly for a playwright.