Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers

Brian Mark Rigg has written a brave book in Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military.  Tackling such a sensitive issue could open Rigg to all sorts of misunderstandings and accusations about the Holocaust.   Hopefully, a careful reading of the book will show this is not the case.

As the sub-title of the book explains, this work is about men of Jewish descent who fought in the German military during World War Two.  The overwhelming amount were half-Jewish or a quarter-Jewish, or who received from Hitler a coveted certificate declaring them Aryans.  This book is the result of research into original documents and interviews.  The product is a well-researched an informative book on a topic that few people know anything about.

Rigg is a bit of a dry writer, and the work is somewhat long.  He often fails to draw very strong illustrations of the people whose lives he is chronicling, which mars the work.  He could have made excellent character sketches, but did not. Yet, Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers provides a frightening glimpse into the insanity of Nazi racial policy.  In this respect, Rigg has succeeded.

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