HITLER'S WEREWOLVES by Charles Whiting


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Interest in World War II and particularly Hitler's Germany seems inexhaustible. Spelled backwards that means more popular histories of the Whiting variety (48 Hours to Hammelburg, Massacre at Malmedy, etc.) which merely recite rather than thoroughly examine the facts. It's as if a badly programmed robot were loose in the historical garden. In this instance, Whiting describes the only successful operation (paradoxically code-named ""Carnival"") undertaken by Hitler's Werewolves, that paramilitary band of adolescent ragamuffins assembled by Himmler in late 1944 to spearhead the Nazi resistance movement after the Allied invasion of the Reich. The goal of Carnival was the assassination of Franz Oppenhoff, named Burgomaster of the old imperial city of Aachen when the Americans captured it; a six-member Werewolve team was parachuted behind American lines and eventually they shot Oppenhoff on Palm Sunday, 1945, a propaganda victory for Hitler and Himmler who had vowed death to any German collaborating with the enemies of the Fatherland. Whiting patty-cakes the story, alternating between German and Allied prospectus, in order to contrive drama -- which nonetheless is so banal, so ersatz, that you keep wondering why anyone would go to such trouble and how, after all this effort, the results could be so negligible.

Pub Date: May 30th, 1972
Publisher: Stein & Day