3.3.12

WHAT WERE YOU DOING WHEN HITLER SHOT HIMSELF?

In Five Days That Shocked the World: Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II, Nicholas Best collects reminiscences from individuals, many of whom later became famous.  Book Review No. 6 recommends the work, for its pacing, readability, and no end of surprises, unless you're already a devotee of World War II arcana.  Jimmy Carter and Jack Kennedy make cameo appearances.  So does a sympathetic officer in the U.S. Army, who takes Benito Mussolini's wife in protective custody, allowing her son to become brother-in-law to a hungry girl the world later knows as Sophia Loren.  Alexandr Solzhenitsyn is already in another kind of protective custody.  Josef Ratzinger and Karol Wojytila have slipped away, at some risk, from respectively conscripted service and forced labor, anticipating a return to their devotions at seminary.  And Adolf Hitler's nephew William is in the Navy.  That's the U. S. Navy.  Fascinating collection of stories.

(Cross-posted to 50 Book Challenge.)

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