HISTORY

Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America

Hachette. Nov. 2019. 320p. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780316449656. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316449663. HIST
COPY ISBN
This latest from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cenziper (Love Wins) begins by profiling Lucyna and Felix, who survived the Holocaust in Poland and immigrated to America in the 1950s. The second narrative focuses on the historians and lawyers of the Office of Special Investigation (OSI) who tracked down SS men who trained at Trawniki camp, some of whom came to the States around the same time as Lucyna and Felix. Yet the central figure here is Jacob Reimer, the Citizen 865 of the title, as are the efforts of the OSI to strip these Nazis of their U.S. citizenship, with Cenziper providing fascinating insight into the personalities, motivations, and procedures of the OSI prosecutors who successfully exposed (after some missteps) men such as John Demjanjuk and Reimer. The accounts of Lucyna and Felix, whose families were murdered by alumni of the Trawniki training camp, are told with a great deal of empathy, but unfortunately, these two main threads never manage to meet in the book. 
VERDICT A general purchase recommended for public libraries.

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