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The Eternal Nazi    by Nicholas Kulish & Souad Mekhennet order for
Eternal Nazi
by Nicholas Kulish
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

There is no doubt that life in the concentration camps of World War II were nothing short of Hell on Earth. Countless numbers of people were tortured and died at the hands of the SS. The Eternal Nazi focuses on one SS doctor, Dr. Aribert Heim, and those who suffered at his hands.

During the war, Heim used prisoners at Mauthausen for ghastly experiments such as injecting gasoline into the hearts of his patients and performing unnecessary surgeries on otherwise healthy people. On the other side of the coin, Heim was held in high esteem as a private practice doctor.

Post war, Heim managed to escape capture and prosecution for the war crimes that he, among many others, committed. Authors Nicholas Kulish and Souad Mekhennet offer a compelling look into the historical war crimes, trials, and escape to the Middle East of the SS doctor.

Kulish and Mekhennet also provide varying and contrasting viewpoints. Included in this story are the perspectives of Alfred Aedtner, a post-war Nazi hunter, as well as witness testimony from the concentration camp, and insight from those who knew Heim on a personal level.

I find this book a difficult but very important read. The disturbing SS viewpoint that 'It is the right of every state to defend itself against asocial elements, and that also includes those unfit to live' ensures that this is not a good choice for bedtime reading. However, one should also not turn a blind eye to the atrocities of the past.

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