Ostland by David Thomas

Ostland by David Thomas
Georg Heuser, on his way to the Koblenz Assizes: 15 October 1962.

This book is a mixture of fact and fiction and whilst it is classified as a crime thriller it is much more than that. Georg Hauser was an officer of the Criminal Police and the SS and we follow his story, told mainly from his perspective, through two major events in his life. The first, as a young detective and the second as he is investigated for war crimes by the fictional investigators Max Kraus and Paula Siebert.

It would make a great Christmas present for anyone who is interested in this period of history particularly the horrors of the Holocaust. I devoured this book however my husband, who lost members of his family during the Holocaust has found it very hard to read  and though he is enjoying the writing, the story he finds very unsettling.

The question that is being asked in this book is what turned idealistic, normal young men into the killers of women and children – precisely the people Georg Hauser had sworn as a policeman to protect.

I think we all can’t quite fathom the answer to this question and it is this that will haunt generations of people forever. A very worthwhile read.