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William Grimes[Gellately] has produced a gripping work of history, a series of oral narratives that drag the reader, almost by force, into the nightmarish mental landscape of the Third Reich.
— The New York Times
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Now, Robert Gellately-one of the premier historians of Nazi Germany-has transcribed, edited, and annotated the interviews, and makes them available to the public for the first time in this volume.
Here are interviews with the highest-ranking Nazi officials in the Nuremberg jails, including Hans Frank, Hermann Goering, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, and Joachim von Ribbentrop. Here, too, are interviews with the lesser-known officials who were, nonetheless, essential to the workings of the Third Reich. Goldensohn was a particularly astute interviewer, his training as a psychiatrist leading him to probe the motives, the rationales, and the skewing of morality that allowed these men to enact an unfathomable evil. Candid and often shockingly truthful, these interviews are deeply disturbing in their illumination of an ideology gone mad.
Each interview is annotated with biographical information that places the man and his actions in their historical context. These interviews are a profoundly important addition to ourunderstanding of the Nazi mind and mission.
|Introduction : Nuremberg - voices from the past|
|How the Nuremberg interviews were obtained and preserved|
|Constantin von Neurath||169|
|Franz von Papen||174|
|Joachim von Ribbentrop||182|
|Baldur von Schirach||237|
|Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski||265|
|Ewald von Kleist||329|
|Erich von Manstein||351|
|Paul O. Schmidt||433|
Posted October 14, 2004
Everything about this book is utterly fascinating - it contains verbatim interviews with the Nazi leaders on trial for their lives at Nuremberg, conducted by Leon Goldensohn, a military psychiatrist who passed away in 1961. Dr. Goldensohn's hand-written and typed interview notes were kept in boxes in his family's home for over 40 years. The interviews read like narratives - details of the prisoners themselves, their surroundings, their motives, are described in ways that read like a good story, although very chilling at times. Not surprisingly, each man conveys an unwillingness to assume responsibility for his part in the Holocaust. This is a must read for those interested in Jewish history but also for anyone who is intrigued in the story behind the story - how a young Jewish doctor from Newark, New Jersey was able to sit in a prison cell with leaders of the Nazi party and get them to talk so openly about themselves.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.