Mission at Nuremberg is Tim Townsend's gripping story of the American Army chaplain sent to save the souls of the Nazis incarcerated at Nuremberg, a compelling and thought-provoking tale that raises questions of faith, guilt, morality, vengeance, forgiveness, salvation, and the essence of humanity.Read more...
Mission at Nuremberg is Tim Townsend's gripping story of the American Army chaplain sent to save the souls of the Nazis incarcerated at Nuremberg, a compelling and thought-provoking tale that raises questions of faith, guilt, morality, vengeance, forgiveness, salvation, and the essence of humanity.
Lutheran minister Henry Gerecke was fifty years old when he enlisted as am Army chaplain during World War II. As two of his three sons faced danger and death on the battlefield, Gerecke tended to the battered bodies and souls of wounded and dying GIs outside London. At the war's end, when other soldiers were coming home, Gerecke was recruited for the most difficult engagement of his life: ministering to the twenty-one Nazis leaders awaiting trial at Nuremburg.
Based on scrupulous research and first-hand accounts, including interviews with still-living participants and featuring sixteen pages of black-and-white photos, Mission at Nuremberg takes us inside the Nuremburg Palace of Justice, into the cells of the accused and the courtroom where they faced their crimes. As the drama leading to the court's final judgments unfolds, Tim Townsend brings to life the developing relationship between Gerecke and Hermann Georing, Albert Speer, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and other imprisoned Nazis as they awaited trial.
Powerful and harrowing, Mission at Nuremberg offers a fresh look at one most horrifying times in human history, probing difficult spiritual and ethical issues that continue to hold meaning, forcing us to confront the ultimate moral question: Are some men so evil they are beyond redemption?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-01-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Henry Gerecke, a Lutheran minister from St. Louis serving as an Army Chaplain at the close of WWII, received a startling opportunity: ministering to the Nazis who would be charged with war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials. Gerecke, who had given well-attended sermons for years, had also struggled during the war to bridge the divide between his country and his faith, refusing a request from Office of Strategic Services officials to extract information from prisoners during confession. Townsend, a three-time Religion Newswriters Association Religion Reporter of the Year, examines Gerecke’s struggle and the uneasy path toward prosecuting Nazi officials, with Churchill at one point recommending Nazi officials just be shot within six hours of capture rather than be prosecuted. Townsend’s account is full of surreal moments Gerecke witnessed during his time in Nuremberg, from watching a congregation full of Nazis singing “Silent Night” on Christmas to Goering’s last letter to his daughter, an innocuous note wishing her a happy birthday. Townsend’s accessible account captures the strangeness and horror of Gerecke’s assignment, and examines what it’s like to spend the day around men who had committed such monstrous acts. Agent: Eric Simonoff, William Morris Endeavor. (Mar.)