Hitlers-Boy-Soldiers

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for Hitler’s Boy Soldiers:

Just when you thought the Nazis couldn’t get any worse.

Quick synopsis:

The story of how Hitler and the Nazis indoctrinated young men even before World War II.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

What was a good exercise for these young men? Manning anti-aircraft guns! Yes, really!

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

Nazi math included figuring out how much it cost to help the old, invalid, and those with special needs. Yes, to make it easier to have them executed later.

My Take on Hitler’s Boy Soldiers:

Helene Munson’s Hitler’s Boy Soldiers is a deeply moving story of a little studied portion of World War II. Cobbling together the life of her father as a child in the German army, Munson takes the reader through his journey while doing some soul searching herself. The result is a book that, while very small in scope, tackles some much bigger questions about responsibility, generational guilt, and mental health.

Make no mistake, this book will make you feel sick to your stomach. The indoctrination is diabolical and mostly effective. It certainly made me look at Nazis in a slightly different way. When you are told from a very early age how to look at the world, do you have a chance of breaking away from that?

Munson’s book is on the shorter side and does not give an in depth look at the greater events of World War II. However, it does not suffer for it as the story she tells is focused more on family and understanding than anything else.

Verdict:

A brutal but well-written book. A must read for World War II nerds. Buy it here!

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Hitler’s Boy Soldiers by Helene Munson