Soldiers of Evil: The Commandants of the Nazi Concentration Camps

Tom Segev, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $17.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-07-056058-1
Segev attempts to bring into focus the men who in WW II ``consented to making terror their profession,'' and show how they implemented the murder of Jews into their daily routine. The attempt does not succeed, partly because, as the author himself notes, his subjects are ``mediocre, shallow people without imagination, courage or initiative.'' His interviews with three former concentration camp commandants are unmemorable except for the moment when one breaks into sobs in self-pity over his postwar years in an Allied prison. The author's interviews with widows and children of former commandants are even less revealingmany tell him basically the same thing: there was no such thing as the Holocaust, and my husband (or father) was certainly not a party to it. The book, however, contains interesting material from the Berlin Documentary Center: details of recruitment, indoctrination and training of SS officers (the commandants were all members of Himmler's army-within-an-army) including official texts from a program designed to strengthen anti-Semitic consciousness. Segev is an Israeli journalist. Photos. Jewish Book Club selection. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 248 pages - 978-0-425-12171-9
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