The Perfect Nazi by Martin Davidson
Uncovering My Grandfather's Secret Past

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Synopsis

What if you found out that your grandfather had been a Nazi SS officer?

This is the confession that Martin Davidson received from his mother upon the death of demanding, magnetic grandfather Bruno Langbehn. The Perfect Nazi is Davidson's exploration of his family's darkest secret.

As Davidson dove into his research, drawing on an astonishing cache of personal documents as well as eyewitness accounts of this historical period, he learned that Bruno's story moved lock-step in time with the rise and fall of the Nazi party: from his upbringing in a fiercely military environment amid the aftermath of World War I, to his joining the Nazi party in 1926 at the age of nineteen, more than six years before Hitler came to power, to his postwar involvement with the Werewolves, the gang of SS stalwarts who vowed to keep on after the defeat of Nazism.

Davidson realized that his grandfather was in many ways the "perfect Nazi," his individual experiences emblematic of the generation of Germans who would plunge the world into such darkness. But he also realized that every fact he uncovered was a terrible truth he himself would have to come to terms with...


 

About Martin Davidson

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MARTIN DAVIDSON is the commissioning editor for history and business programs at the BBC. He has two degrees from Oxford University. As a filmmaker specializing in historical and cultural subjects, he has produced and directed many documentaries for the BBC, A&E, and The History Channel. He lives in Oxford, England, with his family.
 
Published March 31, 2011 by Berkley. 387 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Perfect Nazi

Kirkus Reviews

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The author grew up knowing that his German grandfather, Bruno Langbehn, had fought in World War II, but the family never spoke of the details.

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BC Books

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A man researches his grandfather's past and finds he was an SS officer.

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering ...

BC Books

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The Perfect Nazi by Martin Davidson, is a non-fiction book which follows the author's research about his grandfather, an SS officer.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering ...

Book Reporter

After the war, Bruno was a personal "hitler" to his family, causing one of his daughters, Davidson's mother, to flee to Scotland.

Apr 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering ...

The Telegraph

As Davidson admits, the chances .

Aug 27 2010 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering ...

Historical Novel Society

Throughout his childhood, television producer Martin Davidson thought his grandfather was simply a retired German dentist, a dominant and sometimes domineering personality.

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Seattle PI

The Perfect Nazi by Martin Davidson, is a non-fiction book which follows the author's research about his grandfather, an SS officer.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering ...

Independent.ie

As a young man, he joined the right-wing, anti-Semitic Freedom Party in Berlin before discovering the Nazi Front Regiment and then moving on to the SA (Nazi stormtroopers) and the SS (Nazi protection squad).

Nov 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering ...

Publishers Weekly

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If it were not for BBC editor Davidson's grandfather's position as an officer in the Nazis' SD security police, this would be only one more guilty memoir by the descendant of a mid-level Nazi. David

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering ...

Scotsman.com

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Aug 31 2010 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering ...

Scotsman.com

Davidson left no archive undisturbed in his efforts to discover not only what the Nazi Party did during his grandfather's membership, but what Bruno Langbehn did in those black years.

Sep 10 2010 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering ...

BBC History Magazine

Bruno Langbehn – whom Davidson had known as a garrulous if rather severe retired dentist – had not only been a captain in the SS, he had also been the recipient of the SS Death’s Head Ring and the prestigious Gold Party Badge, reserved for the Nazi Party’s earliest and most valued supporters.

Oct 04 2010 | Read Full Review of The Perfect Nazi: Uncovering ...

Reader Rating for The Perfect Nazi
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