Reviews - What do customers think about The Secret Front: Nazi Political Espionage 1938-1945?
Intriguing glimpse into the chaos of wartime eastern Europe Aug 18, 2004
Forget the hype about Hoettl being Eichman's assistant and the man to whom the figure of six million Jews killed in the genocide was first revealed. This barely figures in the book and it is misleading to sell it as part of mainstream Holocaust literature. Hoettl occupied an important role in the German espionnage unit responsible for south-eastern Europe and does a superb job (this book was first published in 1953) outlining the chaos the Nazis were faced with in Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and the like and how their often bone-headed decisions only made matters worse. What I found particularly interesting were his observations on the brutal behaviour of the Croats and the Serbs, which helped explain the course of the war in the early 1990s, as well as the translation of the self-incriminatory and often downright depressed notebook which Mussolini wrote after the Italian government put him in detention in 1943. After Mussolini was rescued by German commandoes, the contents of the notebook fell into Hoettl's hands. This is a must-read book for anyone wanting more details as to what the Germans were up to in south-eastern Europe in the last war.