Children of Nazis: The Sons and Daughters of Himmler, Göring, Höss, Mengele, and Others — Living with a Father’s Monstrous Legacy is a 2018 book by French Author Tania Crasnianski, which goes deep into the lives of children of high ranking Nazi officials. What was their relationship with their fathers like? How did they deal with their legacy? Did they renounce them, or did they go on with the same beliefs? These are interesting questions which any WW2 aficionado would probably like to find answers to.
The book does well to deal with these questions and provide the answers you are looking for. The author did a great job on research, and it shows. The manuscript is very fact – oriented.
The structure is clear cut from the start and there are no deviations to it. We start each chapter with the father’s exploits in World War Two Germany, the kid’s childhood, followed by a chronological examinations of their lives.
What bothered me was the writing style. In my opinion, it is pretty rigid and devoid of substance, reading more like a report than a book (maybe that was intentional, though?). I have to say I couldn’t read too many pages at one time, as I was getting bored easily, even though there are always interesting snippets of information showing up. I also didn’t like the supposedly subtle jabs taken at Nazi officials and the children who did not renounce their ideas. I never like that in a book – we get it, Nazis were bad, the author does not need to prove his or her disgust for the National Socialist regime (or at least state it clearly), or worse, to manipulate the reader into thinking one way or the other. I don’t think its the case in this book with this last one, though.
Overall, there is definitely much to learn from this volume. It’s just that I found it to be closer to an academic paper than something to sit back and enjoy, so you might want to be aware of this before going into it. All in all, a clear example of a 3/5 stars book for me.