The Nazi, the Painter and the Forgotten Story of the SS Road

The Nazi, the Painter and the Forgotten Story of the SS Road

Book - 2012
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"In 2006 in England a long-forgotten canister of film was discovered by chance in a Devonshire church. No one knew how it had got there, but its contents were tantalizing: grainy black-and-white scenes showed SS soldiers and slave labourers involved in what appeared to be a Nazi road-building programme. BBC television caused a sensation when it broadcast the footage, but the film gave few clues to the identities of the people in it, the places shown or the construction work's ambitious ultimate purpose. G.H. Bennett set out to uncover the story behind this compelling visual record, and to identify the perpetrators and victims it portrayed. He combed archives for clues in Britain, the USA, Germany and elsewhere, and began exploring likely settings for the film in Ukraine. Piece by piece Bennett put together the story of the SS Road, construction of which was managed by an unremarkable SS officer who, through a chance office mix-up of names, unexpectedly found himself in charge. He describes the Red Army prisoners, Jews and others who were worked to death building it, and singles out by name the barbaric overseers. Arnold Daghani, a Romanian artist, was one of the few Jewish labourers to survive the project. Recovering a neglected part of the history of the Second World War and the Holocaust, this book is a moving, at times horrifying, account of gratuitous cruelties imposed on ordinary people by a regime fixated on a nightmare future.
Publisher: London : Reaktion Books, 2012
ISBN: 9781861899095
Characteristics: 240 p. : ill., map ; 23 cm


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