Review: Hunting Evil

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Marcus
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Review: Hunting Evil

Post by Marcus » 02 Oct 2009 20:38

A review of "Hunting Evil: The Nazi war criminals who escaped and the hunt to bring them to justice" by Guy Walters has been added to the site.
http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=12096


btw. The idea with these threads are to encourage discussions on the books reviewed so they can be an addition to the reviews on the site.

/Marcus

J. Duncan
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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by J. Duncan » 03 Oct 2009 09:39

Thus far, this book has not been printed for mass distribution in the USA...it is from the UK so it's a bit pricey for the American reader. I read the sample first chapter at the author's webpage and it made for interesting reading. It is written in a journalistic style. I am hoping that Walters will disclose more information on the mysterious person of Alois Hudal, a Vatican bishop who was a key figure in aiding the Nazis in their escape abroad. I wonder if he will also explain some of the classified documents of the Argentinian secret police which misled investigators as well as writers such as Ladislas Farago, whose book "Aftermath" printed some of these false dossiers on Eichmann, Mengele, and even Martin Bormann. These documents were probably invented to deliberately misleed Nazi hunters since the Peron regime was involved in the importation of these fugitives. The CIA (OSS) probably also had a hand in helping these fugitives escape. It's a fascinating story to say the least. I hope that this book will eventually make it's way to a US printer.

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guywalters
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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by guywalters » 17 Oct 2009 15:05

First of all, many thanks for the nice review of my book. Potential readers in the US may be glad to hear that the book is being published there in May. Check out the Hunting Evil page on my website to see which other countries in which it will be published. As regards Hudal, yes, I certainly do write about him and examine his motives for helping Nazis escape. As regards the documents that misled Farago, I do mention them, but I don't go into them in great detail. They were, after all, fakes, and I didn't want to devote too much space to what was essentially a red herring. Anybody who'd like a signed copy of my book should look at the bookshop element of my website. I'll try to supply the book to forum users as cheaply as possible! Best to all, Guy

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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by J. Duncan » 18 Oct 2009 10:41

Mr. Walters
Good to see your response on the Forum! When you read my "journalistic style" I meant that it's written in a way that fosters an attitude of danger, excitement, and suspense. I'm a layman and do not know the various terms writers use to describe their writing styles so I hope you did not take offense to that. I liked your first chapter and I distinctly remember the episode where Eichmann says "goodbye" to his youngest son by beating him! This seems strange to us in the 21st Century , but I guess the Nazis made a cult out of the attitude of "toughness" which they probably got from their interpretation of the history of the Prussians (beatings for children were quite common for Nazi children as well as their predecessors the Prussians. I think beatings were common for Germans in general during the Kaiser's Reich, and we all know Hitler got his fanny thrashed by his own father, Alois).

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Hunting Nazis by Guy Walters

Post by ladycplum » 24 Jul 2010 17:07

I would like opinions as to whether anyone considers this to be a good back in direct correlation to its actual title. I've skimmed it, and I admit I had to put the book down halfway through. The book spent a bit too much time on shoving snide little comments about Simon Wiesenthal on a good deal of pages, and that completely colored it for me. I had left a review on Amazon, but felt compelled to take it down after receiving some negative comments from Mr. Walters himself regarding my criticism of his book.

So basically, I am asking, having read the book, would anyone recommend it on the basis of how helpful it is in telling the story of escaped Nazis, those who helped them, and those who hunted them....
"The more I see, the more I know. The more I know, the less I understand"-Paul Weller

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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by J. Duncan » 25 Jul 2010 09:19

Funny that you put it down about half-way through....I did too...I got bored with the material really quick. Nothing new that hasn't been told in countless other books. That Wiesenthal told a few whoppers is supposed to be the explosive revelation of the book. One could have already detected that years ago if they'd paid more attention to the details of his 1960's published, "The Murderers Amongst Us". I was overly excited for this book and got let down. So much is published nowadays that just do not stack-up to what was printed years ago when the people involved wrote them. So much wasted paper.

ladycplum
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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by ladycplum » 25 Jul 2010 23:50

J. Duncan wrote:Funny that you put it down about half-way through....I did too...I got bored with the material really quick. Nothing new that hasn't been told in countless other books. That Wiesenthal told a few whoppers is supposed to be the explosive revelation of the book. One could have already detected that years ago if they'd paid more attention to the details of his 1960's published, "The Murderers Amongst Us". I was overly excited for this book and got let down. So much is published nowadays that just do not stack-up to what was printed years ago when the people involved wrote them. So much wasted paper.
That is EXACTLY what I was thinking. I bored my copy from the library, I was really excited when it came out, had to wait a little bit in order to get my copy since there was a waiting list, but the tone of it was so negative as regards to Wiesenthal. There are also two major criminals left out-Alois Brunner, who escaped to Syria, and Paul Schafer, who set up Colonia Dignidad in Chile, a colony that has been under observation by several human rights organizations and just might be the final resting place of a Russian-American Jewish mathemetician who disappeared in Chile.
"The more I see, the more I know. The more I know, the less I understand"-Paul Weller

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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by J. Duncan » 26 Jul 2010 01:59

Brunner is probably dead but could still be alive (he's age 98 this year, born 1912)... the Syrians are still quiet about him. Brunner lost a hand to a mail bomb in the 1970's. Schafer died this year (or late last year)....Schafer was small fry. He did most of his damage post-war with his pedophilia and murderous activities in Colonia Dignidad. I do not know much about his war crimes or if he even committed any during the war...I think he served in the Luftwaffe in North Africa....did he commit war crimes?

ladycplum
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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by ladycplum » 26 Jul 2010 02:58

I've never actually seen anything that links Schafer to any WWII atrocities, but that doesn't excuse what he did after the war. From what I read he was actually a medic in the Army, reached the rank of Corporal. He actually fled Germany due to allegations of sexual abuse!

Brunner on the other hand, although it's highly likely he is dead, is a different story. This man was a monster. He was interviewed in the 80's and basically said he'd do it again if asked, the Jews were garbage, they deserved to die, no regrets, the usual Nazi garbage.
"The more I see, the more I know. The more I know, the less I understand"-Paul Weller

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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by guywalters » 26 Jul 2010 14:54

He is an admirably sceptical narrator...Walters’s account of what happened is first-rate. I admire Walters’s book...

Max Hastings, The Sunday Times


Guy Walters dares, as the Chinese say, ‘to touch the tiger’s bottom’. He mounts a full-scale attack on the reputation of Simon Wiesenthal, the world’s most famous Nazi hunter...Hunting Evil is a model of meticulous, courageous, and pathbreaking scholarship.

Jonathan Mirsky, Literary Review


Guy Walters’s compelling and thoroughly researched account of the war criminals who escaped justice, the half-hearted attempts of the Allies to pursue them, and the unwavering support they received from sympathizers is a timely reminder of the many skeletons in Europe’s cupboard.

Tim Kirk, Times Literary Supplement


The depth of research here is both impressive and convincing...Walters has managed to weave this mass of information into an absorbing and thoroughly gripping whole...[He] proves emphatically that the reality of Nazi hunting is far more fascinating than the myth.

James Holland, The Sunday Telegraph


Walters is a diligent researcher and has travelled far and wide to unearth the story. Much of it is the stuff of thrillers. But it also provides a chilling insight into the mentalities of those who perpetrated some of the greatest crimes in history...An enthralling book and a sobering one.

Patrick Bishop, Country Life


Guy Walters’s book about the hunt to bring the war criminals to justice is different. While not sparing us details of their atrocities, it is not sensationalist. It is very thoroughly researched. And rarer still of all, it is true...It is gripping and well documented, and deserves a lasting place among the histories of the war.

Christopher Hudson, Daily Telegraph


Walters, a former Times of London journalist, flaunts his WWII expertise in a stunning account that trails some of the most elusive Nazi war criminals of the twentieth century. Following the war, many Nazis evaded capture and went into hiding, seemingly "without a trace." Walters debunks this myth through interviews, meticulous research, and a vast historical knowledge that exposes an array of people who aided these criminals in their flight from justice [...] This well-researched and exquisitely executed volume is also an exhilarating read.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Walters lays bare, in what is a fine, very readable but nonetheless important, book about how the victors let the criminals, thousands upon thousands of terrible murderers, walk away after the war...Walters’s documentary evidence on Wiesenthal’s inconsistencies and lies is impeccable...When you read Hunting Evil, you know its author is telling the truth...Walters has done a service to history and therefore to Jews.

Daniel Finkelstein, Jewish Chronicle


A grim indictment of Allied complacency after the war, and an extraordinary exposé of the fraudulence and vanity of Simon Wiesenthal.

Giles Coren, The Times


A widely researched [...] ultimately satisfying investigation into the web of interlocking interests that assisted many high-ranking Nazis as the Third Reich collapsed.

Peter Cunningham, Irish Times


Walters’s depth of research into the Wiesenthal story and into that of the Nazis is impressive, with the capture of Adolf Eichmann by Mossad agents in 1960 in Argentina well reconstructed, revealing Wiesenthal’s limited contribution was more of a hindrance than a help.

Peter Levy, Irish Examiner


Walters backs up his hugely controversial claims with carefully-presented evidence sifted from archives of contemporary material located around the world. His conclusions will doubtless offend many readers, and may even hurt them. But then, the truth often does.

Yorkshire Post

Walters reveals his investigation into the escapes, the attempts and the successes made to bring the fugitives to justice and what happened to those who got away. An outstanding book.

Charlotte Vowden, Daily Express

J. Duncan
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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by J. Duncan » 27 Jul 2010 00:37

For a minute there I was wondering if "Hunting Evil" was a movie! Reviewers get paid to write their critiques, pro or con. I don't get paid by newspapers or magazines to say the book was a disappointment and not a "blockbuster". I give it a Siskel and Ebert "thumbs-down".

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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by ladycplum » 27 Jul 2010 02:59

Mr. Walters, I honestly do not care what professional critics and reviewers have to say about your book. I was not impressed, as I had said on Amazon.com before I deleted my review. Your incessant demonization of Simon Wiesenthal was enough to color the entire experience for me. And if you cannot learn to take criticism, you need to find another line of work. And judging from other threads I've seen, I am not the only person on here who has had issue with your writing style.
"The more I see, the more I know. The more I know, the less I understand"-Paul Weller

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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by guywalters » 27 Jul 2010 08:27

Perfectly happy to take criticism, but only when it's justified. I've written nine books and had my fair share of good and bad reviews. Most, both good and bad, are the result of careful consideration. Your amazon review appeared to be a knee-jerk response and contained numerous errors and totally unjustified accusations. I never asked you to take your review down, and I'm surprised that you did so. You must remember that I am just as free to criticise your words as you are mine. The fact that neither you nor J Duncan don't care what professional critics have to say is illustrative: many of them are highly respected historians and authors who have a greater publishing track record than the majority of amazon reviewers, who hide behind anonymous logins. I'm not saying that amazon reviews should be banned, I'm just saying that reviewers should be as considered as a professional reviewers when they set down their opinions, both good and bad. That's not unreasonable. Your review, however, was.

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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by J. Duncan » 27 Jul 2010 20:32

There have been plenty of books that I have read that professional people (ie...critics / reviewers) have condemned but of which I found useful and entertaining. How do you explain that? Of course I ignore reviews! I would prefer to investigate the book myself, especially if I can check it out from a library without having to pay a large sum of money for wasted paper. Same with movies. Reviews don't sway me. Content does.

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Re: Review: Hunting Evil

Post by ladycplum » 28 Jul 2010 02:43

J. Duncan wrote:There have been plenty of books that I have read that professional people (ie...critics / reviewers) have condemned but of which I found useful and entertaining. How do you explain that? Of course I ignore reviews! I would prefer to investigate the book myself, especially if I can check it out from a library without having to pay a large sum of money for wasted paper. Same with movies. Reviews don't sway me. Content does.
I could not have put it better. Unlike professional reviewers and critics, most of us mere mortals do not have the time to pore over a book, sentence by sentence, outlining things they like or don't. If you had read my Amazon review again, Mr. Walters, you would have noticed that I omitted the reference to ODESSA. And AS I SAID, you can call my accusations unfounded, or whatever you wish, but this is what I took away from reading the book. The tone can upset the content, and your often pedantic, childish asides about Simon Wiesenthal left an extraordinarily bad taste in my mouth. As I've said before and will say again, at least he kept the public focused on these people, yet you demonize him and lionize the Klarsfelds and Eli Rosenbaum. I don't recall reading anything about the fact that his daughter had to be taken to school by police escort due to the threats he was receiving that she would come to harm. And did you mention Karl Silberbauer? As for his methods leading to people being incorrectly labeled as possible war criminals, let me ask you this: how many people in this world are currently rotting away in jail cells due to mistaken identity? It's not just confined to the realm of those attempting to right historic wrongs. Whatever the critics say, whatever the reviewers say, whatever anyone says, it will not change the fact that the TONE overshadowed the CONTENT, therefore, I did not like your book, sir.
"The more I see, the more I know. The more I know, the less I understand"-Paul Weller

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