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The Perfect Nazi : Uncovering My Grandfather's Secret Past
by Martin Davidson


Overview - Using the skills he honed as a documentary producer for the BBC, Davidson explores the truth behind his family's dark secret--his grandfather was a Nazi SS officer.   Read more...

 
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Overview

Using the skills he honed as a documentary producer for the BBC, Davidson explores the truth behind his family's dark secret--his grandfather was a Nazi SS officer.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780399157011
  • ISBN-10: 0399157018
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult
  • Publish Date: March 2011
  • Page Count: 384
  • Reading Level: Ages 18-UP

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-01-24
  • Reviewer: Staff

If it were not for BBC editor Davidson's grandfather's position as an officer in the Nazis' SD "security police," this would be only one more guilty memoir by the descendant of a mid-level Nazi. Davidson, however, succeeds in creating an overview not only of his maternal grandfather's life and career but of his own search for truth. As family rumors and occasional comments implied, Bruno Langbehn was more than a retired dentist. An early Nazi Party member , and "disdain political anonymity," Langbehn joined the SS in 1937. Selected for Heydrich's elite SD, he specialized in investigating German "reactionaries" who opposed the Nazi regime. Later, Langbehn and his immediate family were transferred to Prague, where he participated in organizing "one of Himmler's most desperate ideas": the "Werewolf" resistance force to wage guerrilla warfare against the victorious Allies after the war's end. Needless to say, "Werewolf" came to nothing. Langbehn escaped Allied justice and returned to Berlin, where he died in 1992. Above all, Langbehn emerges from this compelling account as an unrepentant fanatic whose grandson, Davidson, is understandably saddened by this family connection. While the book could have benefited from more details on some events of the war, this remains a disturbing account of the legacy of Nazism. (Apr.)

 
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