Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Nazi Hunters, by Neal Bascomb

To date, only one criminal has ever been sentenced to death in Israel. The Nazi Hunters tells the story of the capture and trial of this sole recipient of the death penalty - a World War II SS officer named Adolf Eichmann.
The Nazi Hunters is a fast-moving piece of narrative nonfiction, chronicling Eichmann's tracking and ultimate seizure outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The book explains that Argentina was a sort of safe-haven for lots of Nazis following the war, as the country generally sympathized with anti-Semitism, and allowed Nazis to assimilate into their culture.

That's what Eichmann and his family had done for several years, until his son Nick brings home a girl. Upon meeting Nick's father (who he says is his uncle), the girl - Sylvia - grows suspicious. She alerts her father of her concerns and they communicate the Israeli intelligence office. This tip leads to a lengthy investigation and covert operation by the Mossad, eventually landing in Eichmann's capture and conviction.

I loved that this book took place after World War II, examining what happened to the Nazis as they attempted to carry on with their lives. I think that's a part of the Holocaust that often gets overlooked - the focus is on the horrific events of concentration camps, but what happens to the war criminals is left untouched. This is a really interesting part of history to read and learn about.

I loved the way the book was written; it was very factual but at the same time read almost like a thriller. I know it will appeal to lots of my make students, and I always love having a new, great nonfiction title to recommend!

Side Note: I LOVE the cover - the colors and the images...awesome!

Also Try: Warriors in the Crossfire, by Nancy Bo Flood; Between Shades of Grey, by Ruta Sepetys; Maus, by Art Spiegelman

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