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Hitler's Children: Sons and Daughters of Leaders of the Third Reich Talk About Their Fathers and Themselves Hardcover – April 23, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Posner interviews and reports on modern Germans who have struggled to come to terms with their parents' or grandparents' associations with the Nazis. The greater the degree of involvement, the more difficult the task. His subjects include relatives of some of the Third Reich's most infamous leaders, dedicated but obscure supporters, and even anti-Hitler activists. Confusion over the gulf between public and private personae, horror at the discovery of their fathers' deeds, and denial, all are made vivid by the personalization of the emotions. Rolf Mengele's discovery as a teenager of the truth about his father's identity and deeds is one of the most harrowing losses of innocence imaginable. Enough historical background is provided to make the stories accessible to non-World War II buffs, but the text quotes interviewees at length. While the author does not remain completely objective, this is nevertheless a valuable primary-source view of the war from a unique perspective. --Cathy Chauvette, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (April 23, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394582993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394582993
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Martin of ABC News says "Gerald Posner is one of the most resourceful investigators I have encountered in thirty years of journalism." Garry Wills calls Posner "a superb investigative reporter," while the Los Angeles Times dubs him "a classic-style investigative journalist." "His work is painstakingly honest journalism" concluded The Washington Post. The New York Times lauded his "exhaustive research techniques" and The Boston Globe determined Posner is "an investigative journalist whose work is marked by his thorough and meticulous research." "A resourceful investigator and skillful writer," says The Dallas Morning News.

Posner was one of the youngest attorneys (23) ever hired by the Wall Street law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. A Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (1975), he was an Honors Graduate of Hastings Law School (1978), where he served as the Associate Executive Editor for the Law Review. Of counsel to the law firm he founded, Posner and Ferrara, he is now a full time journalist and author.

He is the Chief Investigative Reporter for the Daily Beast (www.thedailybeast/author/gerald-posner). In the past, he was a freelance writer on investigative issues for several news magazines, and a regular contributor to NBC, the History Channel, CNN, FOX News, CBS, and MSNBC. A member of the National Advisory Board of the National Writers Union, Posner is also a member of the Authors Guild, PEN, The Committee to Protect Journalists, and Phi Beta Kappa. He lives in Miami Beach with his wife, author, Trisha Posner, who works on all his projects (www.trishaposner.com).

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Schmerguls VINE VOICE on December 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Gerald Posner, who is the author of Case Closed, the best book on the Kennedy assassinarion, interviewed some of the children of Germans connected to the Nazi story, including children of Hans Frank, Rudolf Hess, Hjalmer Schacht, Dr. Josef Mengele, Admiral Doenitz, Claus von Stauffenberg (how ironic his father should be featured in a book entitled "Hitler's Children"), Goering, and three less well-known Nazis. Many of the children are ashamed of their father, but others are not. A good book to read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Rudolph Jacobson on June 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being a Child Survivor of the ill fated voyage of the S.S. St. Louis, "The Voyage of the Damned," I felt some empathy for these children of the Nazi Hierarchy because I too needed a support group of peers who had gone through similar experiences during their early childhood because, our American neighbors, whether Gentile or especially Jewish, who were basically unscathed by the disastrous European War, basically looked upon us Jewish Refugees as an unexpected intrusion, that needed to be tolerated but, with as little disruption to their comfortable assimilated lives as possible. I was disappointed with the book in that the title & publicity was misleading in that it inferred the book was to be about
Hitler's Children, but very few of the children of the high ranking Nazis were mentioned. Those that were mentioned were the children of lesser known Nazis. You might say those that were lower on the totem pole. Of the high ranking Nazis, the book only covered the children of Goering, Hess, and Admiral Doenitz who really didn't make it big until the very end. What about all the rest of the Nazi Children of Borman, Eichman, Himmler, Heidrich, Rommel, Dietrich, Von Runstad, Paulus, Speer, Von Ribbentrop, etc. If you're going to title the book "Hitler's Children" then include all the important ones not just a few of the small fries. I felt it was very slow reading and not very well written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ryan A Stauffacher on December 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover
An interesting book with a good cross section of subjects, not all of whom are the children of very well-known Nazi figures. I think the book could have had more depth but it was a good, fast read. There are figures that I would have been more interested in reading about but given the baggage that many of the people have lived with and Posner's insistence on people using their real names, it isn't surprising that many people were not interested.
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