Based on documents discovered concealed within a simple chair for seventy years, this investigation into the life of a single S.S. officer during World War Two encapsulates the tragic experience of a generation of Europeans.
... 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.