Book Reviews

Book Notices

By Francis Dixon

Louis Fisher, Nazi Saboteurs on Trial: A Military Tribunal and American Law. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2003. Hardcover. 200 pp. $29.95

A new study of the trial of eight Germans captured while on a mission to sabotage U.S. industrial and civil facilities in 1942. Fisher finds that their conviction, and the speedy execution of six of the saboteurs, was enabled by serious abuses of due process, above all their trial in secret by a military tribunal after a hasty executive order from President Franklin Roosevelt (one that merits comparison with Adolf Hitler’s "commando order"). An important book on an important case, more relevant than ever in light of post 9/11 measures that undercut due process in pursuit of security.

Richard Lukas, Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles under German Occupation, 1939-1945. New York: Hippocrene, 2003. Paperback. $14.95.

An expanded edition of a standard work on the travails of the Poles at the hands of the Germans during the Second World War. Author Lukas never met an (anti-Polish) atrocity story he didn’t like, and scrupulously omits any historical facts or considerations that tarnish Poland’s World War II martyrdom. A champion of the Polish national cause, Lukas writes frankly of the role of Poland’s Jews played in imposing communist rule on eastern Poland during the first Soviet occupation, 1939-41. A new foreword by historian Norman Davies updates the long simmering, occasionally boiling, controversies between Poles and Jews over their respective roles during the war.

Clarence E. Wunderlin Jr. (ed.), The Papers of Robert A. Taft: Volume 3, 1945-1948. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2003. Hardcover. 584 pp. $65.00

It’s often forgotten that Robert A. Taft, a conservative senator from Ohio who earned the sobriquet "Mr. Republican," won inclusion in John Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage by his fearless and principled stand against the Nuremberg trials. This collection includes Taft’s public statements and other source material on his stand against what he considered to be a travesty of justice and a betrayal of his own country’s ideals and traditions.

Yoel Cohen, The Whistleblower of Dimona: Israel, Vanunu, and the Bomb. New York: Holmes and Meier, 2002. Hardcover. 352 pp. $24.95.

Seventeen years before America invaded Iraq to confiscate that country’s still elusive weapons of mass destruction, a technician employed at Israel’s nuclear research center revealed top secret information about Israel’s flourishing (and illegal) nuclear weapons program to the London Sunday Times. Soon afterward, the whistleblower, Mordechai Vanunu, was kidnapped from England and returned to Israel, where he was sentenced to eighteen years in prison by a closed tribunal. While Cohen’s book is far from an unqualified defense of Vanunu, any focus at all on this latterday Man in the Iron Mask, who continues to languish in miserable conditions, is to be welcomed at a time when world leaders publicly ignore the Zionist state’s large and potent nuclear arsenal.

George Crile, Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 2003. 428 pp. $26.

An admiring tribute to the ability of a rather shadowy Congressman, Charlie Wilson (R-Texas), and a Greek-American CIA officer, Gust Avrakotos, to arm and fund the Afghan resistance to the Red Army’s occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s. The author’s enthusiasm for the operation, in which Afghan guerrillas armed with Stinger missiles drove out the Soviets and hastened the collapse of communism, doesn’t detract, for knowledgeable American readers, from a gradual awareness of nemesis, in the form of 9/11 and associated blowback at the hands of Islamic fanatics trained and armed by the U.S.

Christopher Simpson (ed.), War Crimes of the Deutsche Bank and the Dresdner Bank: Office of Military Government (U.S.) Reports. New York: Holmes and Meier, 2003. Hardcover. 432 pp. $45.00

More Holo-hokum from frenetic Christopher Simpson, author of various books on the eternal ‘Nazi menace.’ Simpson has mined the reports and recommendations of the finance division of the U.S. military government—this book largely consists of reprints of these documents—and then glossed them with his own lamentations over the failure of the occupation authorities to abolish Germany’s most important financial institutions and hang their leaders as war criminals. That the political wind was changing in Europe even while the disproportionately leftist and Jewish investigators were writing their reports is blamed more on reactionary U.S. elements than on Uncle Joe. No new historical information here─only old accusations.

Masao Shiosuki, Doctor at Nagasaki: "My First Assignment Was Mercy Killing". North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle, 2003. Paperback. 191 pp. $6.95.

Most Americans continue to regard the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as at worst a grim necessity, at best a humanitarian deed that "saved [American] lives." This book, written by a Japanese physician, will give pause to at least a few of those who defend history’s only employment of nuclear weapons. It recounts his desperate efforts to treat the countless victims of terrible injuries from the detonation of "Little Man," as the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki was engagingly named. A sobering account by a true medical hero, Doctor at Nagasaki also includes a record of Dr. Shiosuki’s efforts to alert the medical profession to radiation sickness and other long-term effects of atomic weapons.

Tony Bridgland, Waves of Hate: Naval Atrocities of the Second World War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2003. Hardcover. 256 pp. $32.95

A rare study of World War II atrocities that deals with violations by all sides, Waves of Hate documents the sinkings of hospital ships and unarmed passenger liners, the machine gunning or abandonment of enemy lifeboats to their fates, and other departures from the code of naval warfare. Numerous long forgotten or suppressed Allied excesses are considered, while author Bridgland deflates victor propaganda regarding incidents such as the sinking of the Laconia, trumped up into a terrible German crime in postwar British courts. A useful addition to revisionist libraries.


Source: The Revisionist 1(3) (2003), p. 351.


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