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SS Peiper: Battle Commander SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 19. Juli 2012


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6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A thorough and balanced work. 3. September 2012
Von Ned Middleton - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Author Charles Whiting, who died in 2007, was a respected historian and accomplished author. Most important of all, when it comes to works of this type, he was a dedicated researcher and, as such, has collected all known information relating to the life and death of Jochen Peiper in this excellent book.

There is no doubt that Peiper was both a natural born leader of men and also a hardened Nazi. His eventual death, however, raised more questions than answers and, for that reason, the definitive truth is unlikely ever to be known. In December 1944 he was some 12 miles away from his unit when the men under his command executed some 70 American soldiers at Malmedy. At the resultant war crimes trial after the war, Peiper stood up and accepted responsibility for those murders and was initially sentenced to death - even though many Americans believed him to be completely innocent. Was Peiper responsible for those American deaths or was he simply demonstrating that fine quality of leadership by accepting the actions of his men as being his own? One could argue they were either obeying his standing orders or doing what they believed he would have done - were he present!

Nobody was more surprised than Peiper himself to learn his sentence was commuted to a period of imprisonment and he was eventually released from incarceration in 1957. Seeking a quiet life under an assumed name in an obscure village in France, he lived quietly with his wife and translated accounts about the war until his past was revealed by a vengeful local inhabitant. On Bastille day 1976, his house caught fire and his charred body was found amongst the ashes.

Was this the long arm of those intent on seeking out and punishing all whom they perceived as former War Criminals - even if they had served their sentence? Or was it the drunken revelry of those who, celebrating France's most important day, had been reminded of her recent past and, knowing they had a convicted German war criminal in their midst, things simply got out of hand?

In this work, Charles Whiting does take a rather sympathetic view of Peiper and, whilst that might run against the natural perception that all Nazis were bad and, therefore, deserved everything they got (not a view to which I subscribe!), by taking this gentler approach, I believe Whiting presents a fair and balanced account of the life and death of someone who, in another army - serving a different cause, might have become one of the greatest leaders of all time. But then again, perhaps not. Peiper really was that enigmatic.

Altogether, an excellent account, produced in a most readable style, and one which will get the reader thinking about Peiper in a balanced light.

NM
0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Two Stars 13. August 2014
Von Boomer johl - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Interesting but tedious
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