As well as a brilliant researcher, Lee proves himself to be an insightful narrator – of both the life of a Nazi 'desk murderer', and the continuing attempts of Griesinger’s family to come to terms with the long shadow his role as an SS officer has cast over their lives.
... this is not only an investigative story but also a biography as the author has tried to piece together the life of Gestapo and S.S. lawyer, Robert Griesinger, through surviving records but also research in extant government archives and interviews ... this is a very well researched publication, employing information from the family interviews to German language archival documents and other secondary sources. Throughout the text are many family and other contemporary photographs which give a much more personal and intimate look at the subject's life and time.
Historian Lee...reconstructs the life of a lower-level SS officer in this richly detailed and eloquent account ... Lee compares 20th-century America’s anti-miscegenation laws to Nazi racial classifications, and offers numerous prosaic details drawn from the documents, including Griesinger’s difficulties in getting official approval to marry a divorced woman. Lee’s granular focus reveals the mechanisms by which ordinary Germans were drawn into horrific crimes. Even those well-versed in the history of the Holocaust will learn something new.
... a fascinating true-life detective story, as the author engagingly chronicles his searches in archives and interviews with elderly survivors ... Lee succeeds in documenting the life of a Nazi civil servant who, like many in his generation, showed little interest in Hitler before he took power or objection to him afterward. An illuminating biography and more evidence for the 'banality of evil.'