The murderous activities of Himmler’s Einsatzgruppen – or death squads – rank high among the horrors of the Nazi regime during the Second World War. These hand-picked groups followed in the wake of Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht units advancing intro Eastern Europe and Soviet Russia.
Their mass murder of civilians in the occupied territories will never be accurately quantified but is likely to have exceeded two million people, including some 1.3 million of the 6,000,00 Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
The graphic and shocking photographs in this Images of War book not only show the hunt for and rounding up of civilians, communists, Jews and Romani people but the active support given to the Einsatzgruppen by SS units and Wehrmacht units. The latter strenuously denied any collusion but the photographic evidence here refutes this.
I really enjoy the books in this series and this one was no different. I like that the images are available to tell the story and you can make your own decisions and views from what you see, the images were handpicked by the author but there is a mix of content.
This book is similar to the author’s other book in this series I have read and I enjoyed the insight that the book gave even if I knew before I started reading that it would not make for comfortable viewing from a quick flick through the pages and a glimpse of the images within.
The book is well written and the writing is concise – it tells the story of the handpicked groups that were put in place to follow behind the death squads that supported the exterminations. These groups were ones that denied their involvement and any collusion as the book says but the photos that are shown in this book are pure evidence of what was happening and the atrocities committed.
The chapters are well laid out and I liked that the images were pure in that you could see for your own eyes what was going on and they really brought feelings to the book, you can see and feel the pain and terror the victims faced and my heart really went out to them.
This for me, is necessary reading for anyone interested in World War II. It is 5 stars from me for this one – not easy reading in places due to the graphic images but very highly recommended!