... a first class book ... there is much to take on board in the book, most of the revelations make compulsive reading to the interested person ... The entire book is quite the eye-opener if ‘factual gossip’ is the readers bent ... I engaged with the book rapidly ... this book certainly expanded my understanding of Teutonic snobbery, arrogance, selfishness, and downright roguishness. A superb, quality book for readers interested in WWII social history.
Wyllie acknowledges that much of the source material 'has to be treated with caution.' But he recounts their stories with a bracing combination of scholarship and an almost cinematic—not surprising, given his other work—approach to spinning a compelling narrative. While the bombing of Britain, the Russian campaign, the Holocaust, the unspeakable suffering inflicted on humanity by these people unfolded as an international catastrophe, Wyllie shows us the petty competitions, the moments of domestic sadism, the appalling grift and the daily lives of those responsible for it.
There are some brilliant social histories of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich that convey more insight in 20 pages than this manages in 270. Which is not to say that there’s nothing of interest here, rather that these briskly depicted women tell you as much about Nazism as Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy do about modern football ... it’s pretty interesting anyway ... If there is a lesson...it is a pessimistic one about how self-interest and selective apathy can make monster-lovers of so many of us ... They are a depressing lot. Their self-serving capacity to tolerate the worst aspects of human behaviour may indeed have resonance today.