The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather was a War Criminal Book Review

We all grow up with tales of the family members who have come before us. The question is, what is fact and what is fiction?

Journalist Silvia Foti grew up with the story that her maternal grandfather, Jonas Noreika, gave his life for his native Lithuania, fighting against the Communists. As her mother breathed her last, Silvia promised that she would write the long-awaited book about Jonas. Her initial research matched her expectations: a martyred war hero whose name and reputation earned him a place of honor. What Silvia did not expect was that he was a member of the Nazi party and ordered the deaths of thousands of his Jewish neighbors.

Her journey is chronicled in The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather was a War Criminal, which was published last March.

This is a memoir to savor. Foti brings in both her journalist experience and the want of a granddaughter to find out the truth about the man who partially contributed to her DNA. With the ever-present shadow of antisemitism and the sadly still too present Holocaust denial, this book is the light in the darkness. I wish there were more people like Silvia Foti. By both bringing Jonas’s actions into the spotlight, she is opening the door to making sure that the victims are remembered and there will never be any chance of claiming that the Holocaust never happened.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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The Last Winter of the Weimar Republic: The Rise of the Third Reich Book Review

History has a way of teaching the current generation as only history can. But, we must be willing to listen.

The Last Winter of the Weimar Republic: The Rise of the Third Reich was released earlier this year. Written by R diger Barth and Hauke Friederichs with a translation by Caroline Waight, the book tells the story of the short time in which democracy turned into fascism in the 1930’s.

The book starts in November of 1932. The Weimar Republic is Germany’s version of democracy between World War I and World War II. The country is in shambles. The economy is crumbling as multiple political parties vie for power. President Paul von Hindenburg is presiding over a country in which democracy is on the verge of disappearing.

As political intrigue over takes the German political system, the Nazis slowly begin to take hold of power. Germany and the rest of the world will never be the same.

Two things struck me. The first thing was that this book is that it reads like a political thriller. Instead of being a fictional story with the fictional ending, it is a real story with an ending that resulted in war and the loss of millions of lives. The second thing is that the events in the book are a lesson that some political leaders in 2020 desperately need to learn.

I recommend it.

Conspiracy Review

The Holocaust was not randomly planned. The Nazis knew exactly what they were doing.

The 2001 movie, Conspiracy, takes place on January 20th, 1942. On that date, the Wannsee conference was held. In attendance were those who occupied the highest ranks of the Nazi Party. When the conference ended, the plan to kill what was left of Europe’s Jews was firmly in place.

Starring Kenneth Branagh as Reinhard Heydrich and Stanley Tucci as Adolph Eichmann, this movie is chillingly scary.  What makes it scary is not the traditional blood and guts, but that these educated men, without fanfare and with a calm demeanor, forever determined and altered the fate of European Jewry.

I recommend this movie not just because of the cast, but because it teaches what hate can do when institutionalized.

 

 

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