INSIDE THE FOURTH REICH: The Real Story of the Boys from Brazil by Erich with Barbara Bean Erdstein

INSIDE THE FOURTH REICH: The Real Story of the Boys from Brazil

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The life story of an Austrian Jew driven out of Vienna as a teenager when Hitler took Austria. Erdstein went to Argentina--his parents followed five years later. Within a year he found himself wooed by police organizations in several neighboring countries, all of them interested in resisting any Nazi takeover in South America, which had a sizable German population. His finest moment may have been his first. While still a teenager he maneuvered the Uruguayan military authorities into sending a false message that British ships were arriving to capture the Graf Spee, a German U-boat straining the country's neutrality by hiding out in Montevideo harbor. The U-boat captain chose instead to scuttle his ship. Then Erdstein had 37 Nazi coffins dug up in a Montevideo graveyard: the coffins were filled with armaments, not dead U-boat crewmen. Much later he spent over a decade chasing Nazis who were hoping to revive the Third Reich in South America. Since he was working for South American police agencies, and not for the Israeli government, he had no interest in kidnaping top Nazis and sending them off to Jerusalem for trial--but he believes he shot to death Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi ""Angel of Death"" who had killed hundreds of thousands of Jews. Never dull, but not strongly focused either.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1978
Publisher: St. Martin's