Hitler's Holy Relics: A True Story of Nazi Plunder and the Race to Recover the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire

Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Author
Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Author . Simon & Schuster $27 (316p) ISBN 978-1-4165-9062-0
Reviewed on: 03/15/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010

In this fast-paced history, Kirkpatrick (A Cast of Killers ) describes the efforts of German-born Walter Horn, a U.S. Army first lieutenant and art historian, to locate the missing crown, orb, scepter, imperial sword, and ceremonial sword of the Holy Roman Empire in Europe at the end of WWII. The objects, along with the Holy Lance of Longinus and many other artifacts, had been stolen by the Nazis from Austria after the Anschluss in 1938 and, conceivably, could have been used by Nazis to motivate Germans in the creation of a “Fourth Reich.” Through research, investigation, and amateur detective work, Horn explored the continuing threats inherent in Nazi mythology while successfully solving the core mystery of the disappearance of the crown jewels. Definitely speculative in the suggestion that a mysterious new order of “Teutonic Knights” might exist for malevolent political purposes, Horn's story is an interesting footnote to the history of WWII. 24 pages of b&w photos; 2 maps. (May 11)

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