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A former German and women's studies professor at UC-Santa Barbara, Mahlendorf grew up in a small town in Silesia and was a squad leader in the Hitler Youth who embraced Hitler as a father substitute after the death of her own father, a former SS member, in 1935 and also in rebellion against her mother who disapproved of the Nazis. Her escape from a group suicide pact in the wake of Hitler's suicide was a first step in her denazification and eventual acceptance of her culpability in the Holocaust, an open-ended process that gained a feminist twist as she realized how politics were personal under Nazism. An eye-opening, honest and absorbing account of how evil takes root and flourishes among ordinary people. Illus. (Mar. 28)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.