The Eternal Nazi
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 9 Mar 2016
Full Title: The Eternal Nazi: From Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim
Though not as well known as Dr. Josef Mengele, Dr. Aribert Heim was every bit as evil. While Megele conducted human experimentation at Auschwitz in occupied Poland, Heim satisfied his curiocity by injecting gasoline into his victims' hearts and by studying their internal organs without anesthesia at Mauthausen in occupied Austria. Like Mengele, Heim also escaped justice, thus authors Nicholas Kulish and Souad Mekhennet titled their biography of Heim by how they thought him to be, The Eternal Nazi.
The authors conducted meticulous research for this book, thus able to provide witness accounts of Heim's crimes, his relationship with his family (particularly with his son Rüdiger Heim, in the latter part of the book), and his time spent in hiding in Egypt. Meanwhile, their description of the emerging awareness of the Holocaust and various Nazi hunters' efforts continuously created a rich backdrop to Heim's story. The words were well written, decisively presenting Heim as an intelligent person who knew exactly what he was doing (as opposed to the likes of Adolf Eichmann who blindly followed orders), thus leaving little doubt of his evil nature.
I had reviewed this title in its audio book format. Paul Boehmer did a great job with the reading. Although there were some inconsistencies such as reading the word Reich sometimes as "rai-sh" and other times as "rai-k", I enjoyed being accompanied by his performance during my daily commutes.
I would recommend The Eternal Nazi for those interested in the history of the Holocaust and those interested in the study of the human capacity for evil.
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945