HITLER'S CHILDREN by Gerald Posner


Sons and Daughters of Leaders of the Third Reich Talk About Themselves and Their Fathers
Email this review


 Posner (Mengele, 1986; The Warlord's Crime, 1988) spent a long time searching for the offspring of some of Hitler's henchmen. Despite meeting angry rebuffs, he did find some who would reveal what it was like to grow up in a Nazi family; here, skillfully edited and reported, are their stories. Almost every chapter dwells on one of the Nazi elite as seen from the vantage point of a child. One is startled to read a description of a mass-murdering Nazi leader as a ``loving father.'' Wolfe Hess defends his father Rudolf as a ``man of peace'' who was wrongfully imprisoned and murdered by his Allied guards; Hans Frank, the ``Butcher of Poland,'' is condemned by one son but admired by another; the gross egotist Goering is still beloved by his daughter Edda; and children of Mengele--the ``Angel of Death'' of Auschwitz--and of Donitz (Hitler's successor) and others appear unrepentant while remembering the glory days of the Third Reich as the ``good time.'' The only uplifting narrative is the portrait of the brave and highly gifted aristocrat Count Claus von Stauffenberg, a cultured soldier who led the failed attempt on Hitler's life and who was executed as a traitor to Nazi Germany. He is revered in his children's memory as a heroic and humane father. Though adding little to the historical record, Posner's absorbing human-interest sketches speak clearly of the deep emotional reactions of those who must bear their terrible burdens of inherited guilt.

Pub Date: May 13th, 1991
ISBN: 0-394-58299-3
Page count: 280pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1991


NonfictionGOD'S BANKERS by Gerald Posner
by Gerald Posner
NonfictionMIAMI BABYLON by Gerald Posner
by Gerald Posner
NonfictionMOTOWN by Gerald Posner
by Gerald Posner


NonfictionTHE HOLOCAUST by Laurence Rees
by Laurence Rees