In the Name of Hu­man­ity by Max Wal­lace

Montreal Times - - News - By Stu­art Nul­man mtl­times.ca

(Allen Lane, $36) bout 20 years ago, death in the Nazis’ when Mon­tre­al­born vast net­work of con­cen­tra­tion in­ves­tiga­tive camps, was that jour­nal­ist Max the in­di­vid­ual who en­gi­neered Wal­lace pub­lished a book what he hoped with fel­low Mon­tre­al­born would be a ne­go­ti­ated in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist set­tle­ment to end this Ian Halperin that dealt sys­tem­atic geno­cide that with the shady cir­cum­stances was claim­ing close to six sur­round­ing the mil­lion Jews, was the man death of grunge rocker who prac­ti­cally ini­ti­ated Kurt Cobain, he told me this hor­ren­dous ex­er­cise of a book he was work­ing in mass mur­der: SS chief on at that time, in which Hein­rich Himm­ler. he was do­ing a great deal In his lat­est book In the of re­search about. It was Name of Hu­man­ity (the about a secret deal to ti­tle is sug­gested by the quickly end the Holo­caust phrase that was used to in early 1945, as Nazi seal an agree­ment that Ger­many was on the Himm­ler helped to ne­go­ti­ate heels of los­ing World War in March of 1945, II, as the Al­lies were mak­ing which would spare the their way to Ber­lin lives of the re­main­ing Jews from both eastern and who were held at Nazi west­ern Europe. con­cen­tra­tion camps in

What was so as­ton­ish­ing Ger­many in the wake of about this rev­e­la­tion on an Al­lied vic­tory in Europe), the clan­des­tine ne­go­ti­a­tions Wal­lace ef­fec­tively that was to hope­fully chron­i­cles the secret mis­sions, save the re­main­ing at­tempts and ne­go­ti­a­tions Jews of Europe from cer­tain that were ini­ti­ated

Ato help res­cue the thou­sands of Jews in Nazi-oc­cu­pied Europe, in hope for a quick end to the Holo­caust.

There are two amaz­ing things that will cap­ti­vate the read­ers of this book. First of all, the cast of char­ac­ters who be­came un­likely of he­roes in their tire­less – and some­times dan­ger­ous – ef­forts to­wards this mis­sion of mercy.They in­clude Recha Stern­buch, an Ortho­dox Jewish woman based in Switzer­land who lead a res­cue com­mit­tee with her hus­band Isaac; Paul Gruninger, a Swiss po­lice captain who aided the Stern­buchs in smug­gling Jewish refugees across the bor­der into Switzer­land (which later cost him his job); Jean-Marie Musy, the for­mer Pres­i­dent of Switzer­land who used his in­flu­ence to­wards a res­cue mis­sion of the Union of Ortho­dox Rab­bis; and prob­a­bly one of the most un­like­li­est of he­roes in this book is Felix Ker­sten, the Fin­nish-born os­teopath and masseur who had Himm­ler as one of his clients (to help him with his chronic stom­ach trou­bles), and vir­tu­ally con­vinced the Nazi leader to­wards the ne­go­ti­ated agree­ment that would bring an end to a geno­cide that al­ready elim­i­nated the lives of nearly six mil­lion Jews.

Sec­ond, the book shows how eas­ily in­flu­enced the fa­nat­i­cally metic­u­lous Himm­ler was to­wards an agree­ment that he would never as­so­ciate him­self with. How­ever, Wal­lace proves that Himm­ler’s mo­ti­va­tions were rather self­ish in pur­pose; ba­si­cally, he wanted to save his own skin and con­vince the west­ern Al­lies that if he could avert the sys­tem­atic mur­der of more Jews in the camps ac­cord­ing to the strict liq­ui­da­tion or­ders that were is­sued to him by Hitler, he some­how be­lieved that Ger­many, Bri­tain and the U.S. could fo­cus their at­ten­tion on fight­ing the quickly ad­vanc­ing Rus­sian army and de­feat the spread of Com­mu­nism that would gob­ble up most of Europe.

Thanks to Wal­lace’s pen­chant for thor­ough re­search and con­duct­ing count­less in­ter­views with sur­vivors and ex­perts, the last third of the book that deals with the ma­neu­vers and me­chan­ics of these secret ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Ker­sten, Musy and Himm­ler al­most reads like a spy thriller novel in the style of Ken Fol­lett or Fred­er­ick Forsyth (and just as riv­et­ing). And the mo­ment when Himm­ler and World Jewish Congress rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nor­bert Ma­sur fi­nally meet face to face dur­ing an ar­ranged mid­dle-of-thenight meet­ing at Ker­sten’s villa in Ger­many is a very fascinating – yet chilling – mo­ment of im­prob­a­ble his­tory (by the way, when the two are for­mally in­tro­duced, the un­easy si­lence that en­veloped the room was bro­ken when Himm­ler sim­ply said to Ma­sur “Good day. I’m glad you’ve come.”)

In the Name of Hu­man­ity is a won­der­fully en­gross­ing ex­am­ple of hidden his­tory, in which Max Wal­lace’s su­perb re­search skills of dig­ging up long lost doc­u­men­ta­tion and craft­ing it into a highly read­able book, has brought to life a much for­got­ten chap­ter in the his­tory of the Holo­caust. Af­ter read­ing this book, one has to ask them­selves that if the United States, Bri­tain and Canada were more aware and sym­pa­thetic to the plight of op­pressed Jews in Nazi-oc­cu­pied Europe, and would have taken ac­tion much sooner rather than pre­fer­ring in­ac­tion and ap­a­thy, that the num­ber of Jews who would have been res­cued from the iron jaws of Hitler and the Nazis would have been much greater.

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