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It is, perhaps, a double edged sword.
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.