Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 5 Nov 2014
Full Title: Hunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped and the Quest to Bring Them to Justice
When Nazi Germany was defeated in 1945, many war criminals escaped from justice. Some attempted to fade into the anonymity of small towns, while others made their ways to far away South America. Guy Walters' Hunting Evil provided a summary of these criminals and the efforts to find them.
With so many escaped, Walters could only cover so much material in this book. Nevertheless, his research was very detailed. He covered both the well known, such as Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele, and the lesser known, such as Klaus Barbie and Erich Priebke, listing their deeds during the war, their means of escape, and, in some cases, their capture. On the other side of the token, Walters also presented matters regarded as sensitive for many years, such as the Jewish vigilantism in the hunt and murder of Nazis, and Simon Wiesenthal's much embellished career. The size of the book limited the depth he could reach with each subject, but Hunting Evil was by no means a cursory primer. I, for one, learned a great deal.
I had reviewed this book in its audio book format. Jonathan Cowley did a great job reading the book, with good pace and good volume.
I had very recently reviewed Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobsen, in which she presented some of the Nazi engineers and scientists whose crimes were essentially forgiven by the United States so that they could devote their talents to the US in the Cold War. Jacobsen's work partially led to my decision to pick up Walters' Hunting Evil from the local library, and I found them to complement each other rather nicely.
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945