It is impossible to fault de Jong’s fierce indignation in this book. He must be right, to urge that the descendants of Hitler’s tycoons should admit their ancestors’ criminality, as some do not. But what else does he want? For them to surrender their ill-gotten inheritances to good causes? ... It is not realistically possible, in 2022, to exact retrospectively the retribution that was not imposed in 1945. St Moritz and St Tropez, together with the nasty and absurdly expensive Mayfair members’ dining clubs, will continue to be thronged with the heirs and heiresses to evil, jostled by their modern kin, children of the Kremlin oligarchs.
Much of this has been covered by the German press but is not well known to international audiences. De Jong is thorough in his tracing of business and personal relationships and sensitive to the complexities of opportunism and collaboration. But the picture he paints is a damning one, pointing to the complicity of those who allowed war crimes to go unpunished.
This is old news, but de Jong explores how all walked free after the war and their heirs do little to acknowledge their ancestors’ crimes ... It’s to de Jong’s credit that he brings many of these events back into the historical spotlight ... The author recounts perhaps more details on German business dealings than American readers may seek, but there is enough chicanery to maintain interest ... A sturdy account of the financial side of Nazi evil that resonates today.
De Jong’s colorful narrative features cutthroat corporate intrigue, sordid kowtowing to Nazi potentates and a melodramatic feud between Quandt and Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, who married Quandt’s ex-wife. The result is an intimate and vivid history.