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.