Reviewing Hitler’s Children

Gerald Posner’s Hitler’s Children: Sons and daughters of the Third Reich is one of the most interesting books I have ever read about Nazi Germany. By focussing on children of some of the most infamous Nazi figures, Posner tells a unique story.

When I saw this book, I was intrigued. It must have been an interesting life to have grown up the child of someone who participated in truly horrific crimes. The children of Nazi leaders who agree to be interviewed by Posner provided a totally different look at nazism and its long-lasting impacts than do books focusing on the criminals. As you may expect, the views of the children run the gambit from a child who, despite all evidence and logic, insists his father was innocent and that what the Nazis did wasn’t too bad to a child who hates his father and what he did.

I think the most interesting question Posner asked his subjects was about turning their father in to the authorities. I was very surprised to learn that most of the children either didn’t turn their criminal father in or admitted they wouldn’t have had they had the opportunity.

The ability of too many to compartmentalize is scary. I don’t care how nice you remember your father being to you. If your father was directly responsible for murdering thousands of innocent people–your father should be punished. It’s truly sad to read people describing struggles when considering such brutal legacies. The Nazis were monsters. Nothing they did in private live can ever begin to compensate for their unconscionable actions.

If you would like to read a different perspective of the Nazis, you should read Hitler’s Children. Like all books about these subjects, Hitler’s Children is not always an easy read. But it is an important contribution toward our understanding of what happened and the aftermath of one of the worst periods in human history.

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