Hitler's Children: Sons and Daughters of Leaders of the Third Reich Talk about Their Fathers and Themselves

Gerald Posner, Author, Robert D. Loomis, Editor Random House (NY) $21 (239p) ISBN 978-0-394-58299-3
The author of Mengele adds an interesting if inconclusive chapter to WW II literature with his interviews of children of Hitler's henchmen--and with a son of Claus von Stauffenberg, who led the attempt on Hitler's life in July, 1944. The attitudes of the subjects vary dramatically. The son of Rudolf Hess, who was sentenced at Nuremberg to life imprisonment, defends his father and decries Allied justice. Edda Goring, whose father planned the concentration camps, says, ``He was a good father to me, and I have always missed him. That is all you need to know.'' Far more searching are the statements of those who do not deny their fathers' guilt. Of the two sons of Hans Frank, the former governor general of Poland, one has publicized his contempt for his father; the other, unable to reconcile filial love with his knowledge of Frank's wartime conduct, won't have children: ``After what my father did, I don't think the Frank name should go on.'' Others make reparations: Rolf Mengele donated the proceeds from the publication of his father's papers to a Holocaust survivors' group. Conspicuously absent, however, is an analysis of the factors that influenced each offspring's response. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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