DORA by Jean & Louis Nucera Michel

DORA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A, familiar story in an unfamiliar setting--and that's where the story lies. In August 1943, Parisian Jean Michel was arrested by the SS for his Resistance activities. Shipped first to Buchenwald, he soon found himself at a new concentration camp, known as ""Dora,"" in the Hartz Mountains--the slave-labor production base for the V2 rockets, and, less well known, the final resting place for some 30,000 French, Russian, and other deportees. Through courage and guile, Michel and his group of friends managed to become close to the camp commandant. One friend became the commandant's orderly; Michel himself became the camp dentist, though he had no dental training. Another friend, known only as ""D,"" was an important Russian translator--and through him the group was kept informed about SS plans: their efforts to avoid execution at war's end, in part by bargaining with the despised SS, make an exciting tale. Michel's book is chiefly conceived, however, as an indictment against the Nazi scientists and technicians who have become highly respected missile experts in the postwar world. Though it is not clear when Michel understood that the prisoners at Dora were working on the V2, he firmly contends that those who ran the project knew about prisoners like him; and he bitterly excoriates Von Braun and his colleague Dornberger, in particular, for refusing to admit the connection between their own endeavors and ""the hell that was Dora."" It is Michel's effort to call them to account that gives the book its significance.

Pub Date: May 28th, 1980
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston