The Eternal Nazi: From Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim
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The Eternal Nazi: From Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  28 reviews
From the New York Times reporters who first uncovered S.S. officer Aribert Heim’s secret life in Egypt comes the never-before-told story of the most hunted Nazi war criminal in the world.

Dr. Aribert Heim worked at the Mauthausen concentration camp for only a few months in 1941 but left a devastating mark. According to the testimony of survivors, Heim euthanized patients wi...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2014)
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Ok, not that I am rooting for violence but I did think that this book would go into details more about Dr. Heim's procedures and his crimes. I thought that this book would focus on Dr. Heim's time in the concentration camp. Instead if focused more on the time span from when Dr. Heim escaped the camp and Police investigator Alfred Aedtner's hunt to find him.

The investigation was intriguing. It was amazing how Dr. Heim could be easily missed by the authorities. It is not like he really was hiding...more
Doubleday  Books
A thrilling read from the New York Times reporters who uncovered the real story behind SS Doctor Aribert Heim. A historical account that reads with twists and turns (and reviewers agree):

“He was hardly as famous as Josef Mengele, but Aribert Heim was every bit as vicious. And, like Mengele, this doctor-torturer-murderer eluded his hunters until the very end. The Eternal Nazi finally reconstructs Heim’s dark odyssey—from his sadistic practices in Mauthausen to his life in hiding as a convert to...more
Andy Shuping
ARC provided by NetGalley

The Nazi’s committed many attrocities during their tenure, but some of the greatest may have been the experimentation they did on innocent people in the concentration camps. And one of the worst was Dr. Aribert Heim, who worked at the Mauthausen concentration camp for a few months in 1941. One of the things Heim did was euthanize injection gasoline into their hearts. And performing surgery on healthy people just because he could. But in the chaos after the...more
This is a rather fascinating account that relays the story of post-war Germany and the (not-so) relentless pursuit of war criminals, focusing primarily on SS Dr. Aribert Heim. The subtitle feels misleading because the pursuit spans decades and feels anything but relentless.Though Hein initially spent some time after the war imprisoned, he is rather quickly released (having never confessed to working as a doctor within any concentration camps - instead claiming to only serve the troops) and he th...more
Angela Risner
The Eternal Nazi follows the (very) long road to locating a former SS doctor, Aribert Heim. Heim, like many other cowardly Nazis, fled a defeated Germany in order to escape being brought to trial for atrocities against concentration camp inmates. Heim's family supported him while he lived in exile.

Though I've read a great deal on the Holocaust, I had not heard of Dr. Aribert Heim before. He was not as well-known as other Nazi leaders such as Eichmann or Himmler, nor as recognizable as another f...more
Important Historical Addition to WWII Crimes Against Humanity

Important Historical Addition to WWII Crimes Against Humanity

A must read providing details on Aribert Heim's life on the run, and the investigation to bring him to justice. While the book does provide fascinating details on his life and death in Cairo, the depth of his actual crimes will never be known...As with Mengele and his son Rolf, many of the same psychological battles were fought by Rudiger Heim regarding his father's guilt...R...more
The Eternal Nazi is a well-researched and methodically told history of how Dr. Aribert Heim eluded capture after being known as Dr. Death at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. During his time at Mauthausen Dr. Heim was known for almost unspeakable cruelties including keeping the skulls of his victims and injecting gasoline into the hearts of healthy patients. After the war Heim was able to clear American detention (rushed due to demobilization) and begin a trek that differed from so many other N...more
Alisi ☆ needs to stop starting new books ☆
This book would've been interesting if it was about Aribert Heim. As it was, it seemed to be about every other SS doctor. There was very, very little Heim himself. The book seemed to randomly cut away to what other SS doctors (and war criminals) had done.

Unfortunately, this made this book not only hard to read but it gave them impression that Heim really didn't commit what he's said to commit. I don't think that was the intention nor do I think he was innocent but we aren't given really anything...more
Feb 19, 2014 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, wwii
The Eternal Nazi is a good, but not great, look at the decades-long hunt for SS doctor Aribert Heim. During WWII, Heim served at the concentration camp Mauthausen where he performed unspeakably cruel acts. Though he initially escaped prosecution following the war, by the early 1960s Heim is forced into exile in Egypt, while a determined German investigator named Alfred Aedtner doggedly pursues him.

The Eternal Nazi is well-written, well-researched, and very interesting in a lot of ways. It's an...more
I wasn't able to put the book down, especially since this was the first one I read about Nazi hunting. It's a kaleidoscope of the search for the worst of the WWII criminals, with a focus on Aribert Heim, his family, and his hidden life in Cairo. As Germany didn't have death sentence, the war crimes weren't punished nearly enough, and the majority of the war criminals weren't even prosecuted. It was interesting to realize that had Heim not escaped into hiding, he could have likely received a rela...more
This book was interesting, it was especially interesting to read an account of the changes in public opinion regarding hunting down and prosecuting former Nazis in Germany over time. Immediately after the war Aribert Heim was released as a follower. The German people at this point largely wanted to move on from this dark spot on its past and investigations into Heim and others were underfunded and neglected. Many Nazi war criminals who were prosecuted received minimal punishment for their horrif...more
Zohar -
The Eter­nal Nazi: From Mau­thausen to Cairo, the Relent­less Pur­suit of SS Doc­tor Arib­ert Heim by Nicholas Kul­ish & Souad Mekhen­net is a non-fiction book detail­ing the tri­als and tribu­la­tions of Nazi hunters fol­low­ing an elu­sive crim­i­nal. While the book does not reveal any­thing new about the era, it does make a fas­ci­nat­ing read.

The Eter­nal Nazi: From Mau­thausen to Cairo, the Relent­less Pur­suit of SS Doc­tor Arib­ert Heim by Nicholas Kul­ish & Souad Mekhen­net is a...more
So many aspects of the book fascinated me. I was unaware of the number of agencies working in Europe and America to track down nearly 70,000 Nazi officers who committed atrocious war crimes. Dr. Heim was an individual who carried out especially disgusting acts against others. Barely fourteen pages into the book, I was sickened to learn of the things he did to obtain trophies while he worked as a doctor in Manhuensen. I also never put too much thought into who testified against officers at their...more
A Bookworm Reading
Kulish and Mekhennet have managed to fill the pages of The Eternal Nazi with a wealth of history, not just about the search for Dr. Heim but the overall process of searching for SS members that went into hiding following the end of WWII. The initial chaos following the war caused by the four occupation zones setup, US, France, Britain and Soviet allowed for an easy escape or overlooking of SS members and their level of ranking in the Nazi regime. The zones did not always work with each other and...more
Dan Glover
2.5 stars, between "ok" and "liked it". The first 2/3 moved along at nearly novel pace but the last 1/3 lagged. Especially interesting to learn about the post-war hunt for Nazi war criminals and how so many ex-Nazis made it into positions of power in post-war Germany, or worked for foreign governments (especially Muslim North African & Middle East and South American) with armed forces, weapons and industrial development or worked as spies for the US gov't against the Soviets.
This is an amazing book but keep a pen and paper handy while reading... there are SO MANY NAMES to remember! It was amazing to me that so many high-ranking Nazis escaped to Egypt and South America, never having to face repercussions. This follows the "career", atrocities and flight of Dr. Aribert Heim- including discussions with his family, children, coworkers, former sports team members, and most poignant of all- victims of Mauthausen that survived his medical experiments.
I had the audio book on DVD's for that. Once the long introduction was told, the author started with the travel, the discovery of the letters in Egypt . I thought sometime, that he could have been more telling about his journey to Egypt. Someone has to really listen or read it slow. Because it is mentioned, the unspeakable and horrible operations Dr Heim performed on twins and children. The result ended mostly with their death.
Nicolas Kulish has retold the heart stopping and breath taking event...more
Heather Bennett
SS Doctor Aribert Heim was a horrible evil person who had escaped capture for years. This book is well researched and well written. The reader will learn so much about how those who escaped capture were hunted down for there crimes.
Received ARC from NETGALLEY in exchange for honest review.

Really great read for someone interested in Nazi history, particularly hunting down the perpetrators. Full of excellent detail, the narrative is well written and this is a treasure trove of information not just about Heim but how the world began to view such a dark stain in Germany's past. Would have liked a little more focus in Heim though, instead of many other prosecuted Nazis.
Jessica Howard
Pretty good -- a detailed history of the hunt for Dr Aribert Heim. He escaped detection as a Nazi immediately following the war, and hid in Egypt for more 30 years to escape arrest. Interesting, but not captivating.
Sarah Johnson
This was an interesting look at the not so well done search for war criminals, but seemed like a long book for a disappointing end.
Edward Sullivan
Despite reading many books about the Holocaust, I had never heard of Albert Heim who committed some especially heinous crimes against humanity as an SS doctor. This is an interesting chronicle of the decades-long pursuit of Heim who was never brought to justice and died in Cairo in 1992. The book would be stronger had the authors gone into more detail about Heim's specific crimes and more of his background. What I find particularly interesting is the discussion of Cold War politics being the pri...more
I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway and it captured my attention from the is a detailed story of Dr. Aribert Heim, a SS doctor who committed terrible crimes during his tenure at Mauthausen concentration camp...the authors go in depth about his life and escape to Cairo...packed with lots of insight about Germany immediately after the Germans attitudes have changed on Nazi war crimes....if you are fascinated about this terrible time in history and cannot fathom have t...more
Fairly good a lot of background info. Good detail on how the Dr evaded capture for so long.
Vicki Curtis
Mar 28, 2014 Vicki Curtis marked it as to-read
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Shannon Rochester
I enjoyed the book, per se....but it was written a little bit too much like a textbook in my opinion. Sometimes I had a hard time following it for that reason. But overall, a good book.
This one was a bit repetitive and disappointingly missed opportunities to go beneath the surface and discuss the radically different behaviors Heim displayed in different contexts. Surely there must be some good studies on this topic?
The pluses are that I did learn some things about the hunt for WWII criminals, and the chapters are short. However, the book tended to sag as it approached the end.
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2014
Sara marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2014
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