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The Search for Major Plagge: The Nazi Who Saved Jews

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  189 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
When The Search for Major Plagge was published last spring, the world finally learned about a unique hero-and about one American doctor's extraordinary journey to tell Karl Plagge's story.Part detective story, part personal quest, Michael Good's book is the story of the German commander of a Lithuanian work camp who saved hundreds of Jewish lives in the Vilna ghetto -inclu ...more
Paperback, 271 pages
Published December 31st 2006 by Fordham University Press (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Nina Usherwood
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I am not sure when if ever a book has impacted me so much. I was moved with joy and love to tears for my fellow human beings by this book. The author, Michael Good, of this book who was born in the US in the 1950's, listening to his mother and grandfather stories of being Jews from Vilna (then Poland now Lithuania). At the start of World War II the population of Vilna a city of 200,000 including 70,000 Jews. By the end of war only about 1,200 Jews survived. In the amidst the horror a German offi ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Michael Good will lead you to ''ponder humanity’s dual nature—our propensity to act violently out of fear and bigotry, juxtaposed against our often unexpected capacity for acting with nobility and moral courage.'' This story of the author's search for the facts behind his mother's rescued life from a Polish concentration camp and the German Nazi officer credited with doing so will both encourage you and disgust you. It's not just the typical villainizing of the evil Nazi Germans, but an even dee ...more
Jennifer Davis
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an impulse buy as a Kindle Daily Deal and I'm so glad I got it. It was super interesting and really easy to read. I was expecting a 'history' book (a la 'Schindler's List') and instead I got a book by a man whose mother had been personally a part of the group of Jews that Major Plagge had saved. The man himself was not actually aware of the story until 1999 when he took his wife and children and his parents on a trip back to the Lithuanian city where they had come from before the Holoca ...more
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It reads as a memoir and was overly detailed at a few spots but overall it was a fascinating look at the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews. Told from both nazi and Jewish survivors and their descendants...eye opening.
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A compelling story of a family's quest to honor the German officer who saved the mother's life in the Vilna work camp during WWII. More a story of what one man can do in the. history. face of overwhelming evil. It is good to see this piece of history.
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Knowing the author makes this book significant to me, but he tells a story everyone should hear!
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a good book about a family's search for the man to whom they owed their lives during WWII. A Jewish family who lived in the U.S. went back to their home city, Vilna, which was in Lithuania in the 1980's to show their own grandkids what they went through. They also went to find some information about the man to whom they were indebted. Their son was inspired to take the search beyond what they found in Vilna, to the Internet as well as to his parents' friends and family members who had s ...more
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who want to know more about the holocaust
Shelves: nonfiction, read-2012
It is hard for me to give this book a rating of only three stars. Certainly the theme, a man delving into the history of his family as they experienced the holocaust on a level that many of us hope to never see, is worthy of five stars. The theme remains relevant today as we saw this happen again in Bosnia, Rwanda, the Congo, Sudan,and Iraq. The author's pursuit of the truth is work worthy of four stars. Sadly, his writing lets this book down. I found much of the writing to be dry and repetitive ...more
Elaine Grant
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was interested in this book for 2 reasons. One, I am a history teacher and I teach about the Holocaust, and two, my son was living in Lithuania when I came upon this book. I found it very interesting and gained a new appreciation for the difficult circumstances many Germans faced when the Nazis came to power. It was refreshing to hear of a Nazi leader who was also a Jewish sympathizer and risked his own safety to aid Jews. He ran a plant and made life as pleasant as he could for the Jews under ...more
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, judaism
Given how hard it is for me to read about the Holocaust, I was inspired by author Michael Good (the child of two survivors), who confronted his fears and looked into what happened to his family during the war. The story of how he tracked down information about the man who saved his parents is quite interesting, but the best part of the book is learning about Major Plagge himself. He was a person like most of us, good but not an obvious hero, and unsure how to deal with the evil he saw all around ...more
Teresa Crawford
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why do I feel a need to read books about the Nazi/Holocaust era? I am not German or Jewish, and have no personal connection to the Holocaust and yet since I was a very young girl I have always felt drawn to books on the subject. Maybe it's because I cling to the hope that I will find goodness in a most tremendous evil act and that is what I found in "The Search for Major Plagge: The Nazi Who Saved Jews".

Major Plagge took risks (for the slave laborers) throughout his command of the HKP labor cam
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know this book has been around for awhile but I got it as a Kindle daily deal am glad I did. With all the horrible stories of the Holocaust, it was nice to read that there were at least some people like Major Plagge who tried to save the Jewish prisoners under his care. The author's search for information about the man his mother had told him had saved her life was inspiring. A light in the midst of a very dark time.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
I thought this book would be interesting since I had read so many other books from this time period and event in history. I gave it a chance and read a little over 100 pages. It never got good to me. The author just wrote about his research to find this guy. The beginning was more about their experience in the labor camps, but tied in with their recent trip to Lithuania to find Major Plagge. was boring...I kept thinking it would get better, but it never did. Oh well...
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Even though the backdrop of this true story is the Holocaust, this is an ultimately uplifting story of a Nazi Wehrmacht officer who managed to save countless Jews during WWII. Part of the book tells the story of how Major Plagge was able to help the Jews under his control, and the rest of the book deals with the author's search for his family and details of the man himself, as well as the long journey to have Plagge honored by The Righteous Among Nations in Israel.
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a book written by the twin of my childhood best friend. I had always known that her parents had escaped the Nazis, but didn't remember a lot of details.
It is just almost surreal of what these people went through. Though it is a story about horrors it is also a story of hope.
Under Major Plagge, 25% of the Jews survived, vs 3% otherwise.
A great story for anyone.
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it

While a very interesting story with an amazing subject, I found there to be a large amount of unnecessary repetition. Reads more like a memoir than a historical text-not necessarily a problem, but the influx of opinion may not have unbiased historical rigor. Would recommend for the story and approachability.
Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Michael Good finds Major Plagge. He was a German officer who is given credit now for saving many Jews during the war. It is well worth the difficulty in reading about the horrors...that we all wish would never have happened. Major Plagge's story is worth knowing and adding to the list of heroes from that era.
Garis Knight
May 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Although somewhat repetitive, I enjoyed reading the journey taken to discover this admirable man and what he did during World War II. It is a story that deserved to be told. I particularly liked the inclusion of translations of first-hand documents which shed light on the deeds and motives of Major Plagge.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a very good example if how to write about personal accomplishments in a humble way. I learned about Poland/Lithuania during the war and personal stories of holocaust survivors. I felt the triumph of the author when his goals were realized.
Stephanie Contreras
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Really wonderful story about many people trying to cope and heal after the horrors of the holocaust. It did get pretty wordy and repetitive at times but overall I enjoyed it.
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book.....Plagge was a Nazi officer who saved Jews. Loved it! Just the book to read on the plane to and from Las Vegas. Totally engrossing!
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
An interesting Holocaust story about a man's search for a Schindler-like Nazi officer.
Click here to find it in the catalogue.
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
great story of a german officer doing what he can for the Jews while serving in the German army in WW2
Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it
The first part of the book is really interesting and the last part is interesting, but the middle really drags!!!
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read the latest version with lots of added info. I really liked this book. I have read so many books about the Holocaust but had never heard this story. Much to ponder...
Aug 10, 2013 added it
I didn't actually finish this book. I found the beginning very interesting, but once the author embarks on his quest to get recognition for Major Plagge, it gets repetitive very quickly.
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Donna by: it was an amazon daily deal
Very interesting book with a lesson on how to live your life.
Jul 06, 2012 rated it liked it

Incredible story and history.
rated it really liked it
Apr 15, 2012
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