Overall Performance Story "A Fascinating Study" This was a fascinating journey into the minds of some the most despicable people the world has known. A lo Overall Performance Story "A Fascinating Study" This was a fascinating journey into the minds of some the most despicable people the world has known. A look into their brains however, raises more questions than answers.
The only problem I had with this book is the absence of the question of sin. Psychopathology will never be able to explain it away. At some point all of these people acted against their consciences and continued to act that way for their own benefit.
In the latter chapters, the author delves into a modern diagnosis of each of these men given the psychological data collected at the trials. There is nothing to explain why the millions of people who have the same diagnoses have not committed the same offenses ...more
**spoiler alert** This book was as much about Douglas Kelly as it was the upper echelon Nazi war criminals. Kelly was one of the psychiatrists who was**spoiler alert** This book was as much about Douglas Kelly as it was the upper echelon Nazi war criminals. Kelly was one of the psychiatrists who was charged with the duty of determining if they were fit for trial and also performing a battery of tests, especially the Rocharch test. Kelly was especially proficient in using the latter. There was also the unspoken charge of determining if there was a psychological condition that was common to all the men.
The latter part of the book was about Douglas Kelly and his life after the time with the Nazis. Along with Kelly's own personality was the question of the effect this intense study of such evil had on him.
The one thing that I found lacking about this study was the neglect of evil and the influence it has on the individual. None of the doctors could isolate a group of traits that could be said to identify the "Nazi war criminal." There were some traits they found frequently found, but they were traits that millions of people have who never committed such heinous crimes.
I am reminded of a book by Karl Menninger titled "What Ever Became of Sin?" Most people are born with a conscience and when they continuously ignore or violate it, they set themselves on a road to pure evil. This aspect was hinted at, but not considered. The fact that these people were guilty of such complete evil and yet were not mentally ill is only understandable if you consider what the world as known for thousands of years...evil does exist and once started on that path people can progress to heinous evil that the world can't explain, but has to acknowledge....more
This book is fascinating! I never thought about what the German soldiers told their families after the war, especially the Nazis. Although the authorThis book is fascinating! I never thought about what the German soldiers told their families after the war, especially the Nazis. Although the author mixes a lot of her personal attitudes with the general feeling of Germans after the war when the extent of the "final solution" became apparent. This is a side of the story that I had never seen....more
Even though there were some problems, I liked this book. I hope the author will continue with these same characters. I enjoyed reading about this timeEven though there were some problems, I liked this book. I hope the author will continue with these same characters. I enjoyed reading about this time period as well as the Shaker community. While the book wasn't as polished as I'd like to see, I like the way the author wrote and as a first novel, it was promising. ...more
I had almost stopped reading Tess Gerritsen's book because I had gotten tired of her main characters and the increasingly gruesome crimes. This book iI had almost stopped reading Tess Gerritsen's book because I had gotten tired of her main characters and the increasingly gruesome crimes. This book is a return to the earlier Gerritsen books. The plot is fresh and interesting. Bringing the victims of the holocaust to life in Italy, Gerritsen has given voice to the many Italians who strenuously resisted Hitler's depraved ideology.
Listening to the Audible book added a great deal to the book. The narrators were excellent, but the strains of a hauntingly beautiful violin playing the "death waltz" at various points in the story was superb. ...more
**spoiler alert** Just when you think you have heard of all the atrocities on WWII, here comes another one. While I have heard of the Germans stealing**spoiler alert** Just when you think you have heard of all the atrocities on WWII, here comes another one. While I have heard of the Germans stealing young Aryan-looking girls and using as "breeders" in the Lebensborn Program to create an Aryan Super Race, I had not heard that they stole young Aryan-looking children in Poland and other occupied territories and took them to places like the Lichterfelde children's home to Germanize them and then place them with Nazi families.
This is a heartbreaking story of a young boy whose sister was kidnapped by an SS Officer and taken away. After first being interested in taking the mother to something like the Lebensborn Program, the officer sees the beautiful 9-year-old daughter and kidnaps her striking the mother and leaving her with a scar across her face and causing a stroke. The son, who was 15 at the time, promises his mother that he will find his sister. His journey seems to include just about every atrocity on the way. He first joins up with a Polish resistance group and then is joined by a young girl whose brother is in the group. He then becomes a conductor for the underground and eventually ends up at Auschwitz, which he somehow manages to survive.
I think this book gave me a better idea of the tremendous displacement of so many Europeans. People were snatched from their homes, separated, moved from country to country, and when the war was over, many had no way to get in contact with family again. So many people found themselves hundreds of miles away from home and if they managed to get back home it was often a place where they knew no one. When the Nazis conquered an area, they brought in Germans to resettle and Germanize the countryside. At the end of the war, those people were no longer welcome and strangers moved into their homes. The returnees often found themselves in a town where they knew no one....more