Customer Reviews: Under the SS Shadow
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on September 26, 2013
I read the description as well as many of the reviews before I got this one so I was aware that the book would have a decided Christian bent to it. I don't normally read books in the Christian genre but I decided to give this one a try because of the WWII aspect.

The book is initially written from the perspective of young Traugott Vogel, son of a high ranking Nazi SS officer. It is interesting to read his recollections of being in the Hitler youth movement, his indoctrination into the Nazi mindset and his absolute belief that Hitler and Germany were doing the right thing. His hatred of the British and Americans is venomous, especially when he gets a first hand look at "Allied justice" in the form of bombing raids against Germany. It is apparent that the Nazi propaganda machine was working well up until just before the war ended. Hitler's Germany was killing people by the millions and being lauded as heroes by the German people for doing so, yet the Allies became the "bombing murderers" in Traugott's mind as the tides of war shifted. Luckily, after the occupation by American forces, the German people were treated with more respect than was perhaps deserved once the atrocities of the Nazi regime were uncovered. Although there was still hatred and animosity on both sides, the spirit of America reached out and touched this confused young man and led him from the dark to the light. Outstanding so far, right? Right.

The story goes on to expound on Traugott's conversion to Christianity, and from that point on I could take it or leave it. I imagine that as a testament to his belief that his conversion was miraculous, the book does what it was written to do. I read it cover to cover and I must say, I was far more interested in the insights into the German mindset of the time than I was in reading what amounted to career decisions as the book progressed.

For those of you looking for a fairly unique portrayal of the German mindset during WWII, this book will give you that and more. Those looking for an uplifting account of God working in strange and mysterious ways will enjoy this one as well. If, however, you are adamantly opposed to reading what amounts to a testimonial about one man's conversion to Christianity...perhaps this one isn't for you.
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on August 10, 2006
Very uplifting book highlighting the redemptive nature of Gods plan for the life of a young boy raised in the Hitler Youth Movement. It also offers an historical perspective on the days of Hitler-era Germany and the often overlooked fact that not all who were part of the elite German SS were there by their own accord. The book is historically accurate but also entertaining - easy to read but hard to put down.
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on December 5, 2012
This is a book that covers history and the way God works in a persons life. Mr Vogel was very detailed in what life was like living in Germany during World WarII. I enjoyed reading about his life as a Hilter Youth and letting the reader know what it was like to be high rank in Hitler's army. But the best part was when Mr. Vogel realized his need for Jesus. What a testimony he had in that he had to overcome a lot of troubles and then know that Jesus was the only answer. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history and seeing God work.
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on April 13, 2014
I rate few books 5 stars, but when I picked this up as a historical biography, I was greatly surprised by the life of Traugott Vogel. From the glory of being the son of one of Hitler's elite to the shame of being the same, Mr.Vogel had lived through the best life had to the worst. With great admiration of his father, he came to some striking revelations in the leadership of Germany and in his own personal beliefs. We see his transition from a proud Hitler youth to a disillusioned deserter. Reunited with his family, he looks to a better future only to have it all taken away in a day. I liked this book so much that I researched the author to see if he was still available to speak. I was very disappointed to find that Mr. Vogel had passed away just months ago in 2014. A book to be read!
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on May 24, 2013
This is a true story by the son of a German SS officer during the Nazi attempt to dominate the world. It's very candid and amazing how he was rejected by his own people and turned to the hated Americans to find work in Germany shortly after the war. His life took a totally unexpected turn and he found true purpose. It is insightful into those times from a perspective one may not have ever considered from a 14 year old boy who lost everything but found more.
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on March 20, 2014
Traugott grew up in Nazi Germany. His father was in WWI and had the iron cross he was a man that commanded respect just by his walking into a room. Traugott like all good German boys was expected to be in the Hitler youth program. He both enjoyed the meetings and feared them expecially when he was sick one day and had missed school. He begged his parents to let him go as he would be in big trouble they said no. Soon the police show up to take him. When his father answers the door and says no he is sick they back off.

War takes Traugott and his young friends into battle. They are children seeing and doing horrible things. He makes it out alive. Not going to spoil it for you but after m
he starts hanging out with Americans his life changes. He has many adventures both good and bad. I very much enjoyed the story of his life and how big of a change we can make when we let God lead.

War takes Taugott
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VINE VOICEon March 18, 2014
This book is a true story of an SS major's son who had many conflicting emotions over the war. He was a member of the Hitler Youth. He was witness to his father's killing on the front lawn and had to deal with finding someone to assist in the burial and comfort his mother and sister. Later in life when he could find no work in war torn Germany he worked for the Americans and learned they were not all bad. He finds God and religion and becomes an interpreter for the Americans even in church services and decides to dedicate his life to God and the church. This is an OK read but not a must read...gets a bit churchy in parts. I do not know that I would recommend this to anyone. I downloaded the book onto my Kindle from Amazon.
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on August 3, 2013
Discovering the religious theme in this book was unexpected. Inspired and honest, this account adds a refreshing perspective to a dark chapter in history and how this man's faith led to his healing and subsequent path in life.
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on April 6, 2013
This 179 page paperback book "Under the SS shadow" is the true story of a young boy (Traugott Vogel) who grows up in the Hitler youth and ultimately becomes a Baptist pastor in Texas.He is currently still alive as of this review.
The parts of these Christian bio,s I especially love is the part ordinary believers play in these lives.For instance in this book an ordinary Christian gave Traugott a flyer to go to a Youth for Christ Youth rally.
The type is typical of small paperback books and since it is a secular book company(Bantam) it is missing much of the flair and color that it would have it it was by a Christian book company. The young man did meet Corrie Ten Boom but it is unclear whether or not he met with the other German believer Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
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on March 21, 2013
Under the SS Shadow by Traugott Vogel is an inspiring biography outlining the life-changing events surrounding the author. Raised as the son of an SS officer in Germany during World War II and as a member of the Hitler Youth group, Mr. Vogel's future was carefully outlined for him. Breaking out of that mold is a great story of hope and human victory for all of us. Both heart wrenching and heart warming it shows how God can change a life and then use the willing believer in amazing ways. I could see God's hand in every event as Traugott progressed in his life.

The historical events and his perspective are enlightening and poignant. Traugott's forgiveness for the men that killed his father was an especially emotional moment in the book.

I would highly recommend this as a great faith-building/faith-finding book in your library.
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