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Lives of Hitler's Jewish soldiers : untold tales of men of Jewish descent who fo
Bryan Mark Rigg
Adult Nonfiction DS134.255 .R543 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Several thousand Jews and over 100,000 others of Jewish descent served in the Wehrmacht from 1939 to 1945. Rigg dips into material he mined for Hitler's Jewish Soldiers to present a selection of personal histories. Many enlisted to protect their families, often in vain; Rigg tells heartrending stories of soldiers risking their lives in battle as relatives disappeared into extermination camps. When police grew suspicious of his forged papers, Karl-Heinz L^wy enlisted in the elite Waffen-SS, apparently its only Jewish member, and fought heroically. Helmut Kruger and Karl-Heinz Schleffler were serving faithfully when Hitler ordered all half-Jews discharged in 1940. Although they and the others discharged spent much of the war in dreadful labor camps, far more of them survived than thousands who appealed successfully to remain in service. Readers expecting expressions of shame will be surprised-most felt proud of their wartime experiences. Few admitted knowing of the Holocaust, but all knew Jews were being mistreated and felt helpless to change matters. As Rigg compellingly shows, these were men dealing with crushingly stressful circumstances as best they could. 64 photos. (Mar. 3) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Rigg's book focuses on the moral dilemmas faced by Michlinges (those defined by Nazi racial laws as being part-Jewish) who served in the Wehrmacht. Billed as a companion piece to Rigg's earlier Hitler's Jewish Soldiers, this volume focuses more on the individual stories rather than providing a broad history. Rigg's compassion for his subjects, most of whom he interviewed in the 1990s, comes through clearly. The book is strongest on the emotional conflicts the men faced. Most defined themselves as Christians and hoped that military service would prove their patriotism and protect them and their families. Instead, their government continued to oppress them and often killed their Jewish relatives. One of Rigg's weaknesses is accepting his subjects' ex post facto assertions that they did not know about the Holocaust until after Nazi Germany was defeated; he fails to consider much recent historical literature by scholars such as Peter Fritzsche and Robert Gellately, which demonstrates that knowledge of the Shoah was widespread during the war. The book is often repetitive, noting on multiple occasions, for example, that conflicting emotions were common in Mischlinges. Recommended for specialized collections.-Frederic Krome, Univ. of Cincinnati Clermont Coll. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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