Children of Nazis: The Sons and Daughters of Himmler, Göring, Höss, Mengele, and Others— Living with a Father’s Monstrous Legacy

Children of Nazis: The Sons and Daughters of Himmler, Göring, Höss, Mengele, and Others— Living with a Father’s Monstrous Legacy
Genres: ,
Published: February 6, 2018
In 1940, the German sons and daughters of great Nazi dignitaries Himmler, Göring, Hess, Frank, Bormann, Speer, and Mengele were children of privilege at four, five, or ten years old, surrounded by affectionate, all-powerful parents. Although innocent and unaware of what was happening at the time, they eventually discovered the extent of their father’s occupations: These men—their fathers who were capable of loving their children and receiving love in return—were leaders of the Third Reich,…

Here’s something I’ve always wondered about. These men who played such a big role in Hitler’s Nazi Germany, they were family men too. What happened to their families after the war? I bought this book since it popped up on my recommended reading list. Overall, I thought that it was a bit too thin, not too scholarly. The author did write in the introduction that she was only able to conduct one interview, and based the rest of her work on existing interviews. Given the timeframe, that’s acceptable, but one comes away from reading this book feeling like it’s a little too thin on the historical details and even the insights on the matter. It’s not very scholarly. It reads a bit too anecdotal and very short, as if the writer had little material to work with and didn’t want to stretch the book out unnecessarily.

That being said, this book is a nice, easy read if you want to learn about how the children of Himmler, Goring, Hoss, Mengele, Bormann, and others dealt with the legacy of being children of war criminals. Majority of them were very young during the years of the holocaust, some don’t even remember their fathers, but the long shadow that they cast in their lives is undeniable.

I find it very surprising that many of these men provided happy homes for their children. I suppose that they really do not consider what they did during the Third Reich as immoral, but rather as essential to their service for their fuehrer. They went about their day, bringing pain and death to people (many of them are as young as their own children), they filled up their homes with items looted from other people’s homes, and yet they fail to grasp how immoral that is.

This book, while far from being a satisfying read, offers enough usable insight on the subject.

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