In the Shadow of the Reich

Niklas Frank, Author, Jonathan B. Segal, Editor Alfred A. Knopf $23 (371p) ISBN 978-0-394-58345-7
Frank was seven years old when his father, Dr. Hans Frank, Hitler's governor-general of occupied Poland, was executed at Nuremberg as a Nazi war criminal. Here he bitterly, unforgivingly denounces his father as ``a slime-hole of a Hitler fanatic,'' a fawning coward, a pompous actor whose speeches were ``the drivel of a numbskull,'' and a murderer. The author doubts that Dr. Frank's 11th-hour piety in his Nuremberg cell was genuine and regrets the failure of a 1944 assassination attempt. (He is equally hard on his mother, whom he calls ``a sleazy fur dealer.'') All this, based on prodigious research, is presented in a gleefully manic way that verges on hysteria. While Frank's prose possesses considerable literary power, the nonstop diatribe becomes offensive, then boring. Frank writes for the German magazine Stern. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
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