THE REICH MARSHAL by Leonard Mosley


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This biography begins as Leonard Mosley's usual flick, effective melodrama -- Goering the brave fighter ace with a half-Jewish baron as godfather. You expect that as World War I ends and Goering becomes a Nazi the overtone of sympathy will cease. On the contrary, having wrung all possible pathos from Goering's morphine addiction and the death of Carin, his first wife and Nazi comrade, Mosley consistently portrays him as what has to be called a ""good Nazi."" Not only civilized (despite his vulgarities) but relatively ""reasonable,"" Goering chugs along in this account as the good-natured soldier against a background of very dim horrors and responsibilities. Goering after all got rid of those Roehm disreputables; he nurtured apprehensions about the war against Russia; he had, mind you, no direct bureaucratic power over the concentration and extermination camps. Remember his ""large part in restoring the self-respect of the German people,"" says Mosley; indeed, given his talents, his life ""becomes one of the great tragedies of modern times."" The reader will remember that this was the man who enslaved, starved and murdered millions among the conquered populations -- to say nothing of his fellow Germans. This was also the man who said ""It's my business to annihilate and exterminate."" What more can be said about a book which concludes that Goering's worst fault was ""moral cowardice?

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 1974
Publisher: Doubleday