Tuesday Tales – Hitler’s Will

Tuesday Tales

We will never forget. Over 6 million lives lost just because of their religious identity. Never will it happen again, yet it has. Together as a human race we must stop, think, teach, and read as much as we can about the topic.

What am I talking about?

I am referring to the Holocaust. Last year, I wrote about Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. I explained about fears that I had as a child growing up Jewish in a world that still is hateful. I also teased about writing a book review that I have never done. Today, I am doing that since Yom HaShoah is this coming Sunday, May 1.

When TechyDad and I were married, almost ten years ago, we had to select people to sign our ketubah (marriage license). This was a rather big deal. We decided that each of us would pick someone from our side to give this honor. To complicate matters, we wanted these people to be shomer shabbos and they could not be direct relatives.

My extended family is rather close. Even people that are not blood relatives were people that I grew up with, admired, and part of many holiday celebrations and events. My Aunt is British and we knew that we wanted her parents to be part of our celebration. The minute we heard that they were coming to our wedding, we knew we were going to ask Hermi to sign our ketubah.

Ketubah Signing

Growing up, everyone mentioned that Hermi had lived through the Holocaust. I was always intrigued by this statement, but never brave enough to ask more. We were married, years went by, and then in November 2009 Hermi published a book about his experience during World War II.


About Hitler’s Will:

This is a synopsis of the book from the publisher:

Herman Rothman arrived in Britain from Germany as a Jewish refugee in the early years of WWII. He joined the British Army and in 1945 was posted to Westertimke and Fallingbostel PoW camps to interrogate high-ranking Nazi war criminals. When papers were discovered sewn into the shoulders of a jacket belonging to Heinz Lorenz, who had been Goebbels’ press secretary, he and a team of four others were charged with translating under conditions of the deepest secrecy. The documents turned out to be the originals of Hitler’s personal and political wills, and Goebbels’ addendum. Later on, in Rottenburg hospital, Rothman interrogated Hermann Karnau, who had been Hitler’s valet, to establish information about the Fuhrer’s death in the bunker.

Hitler’s Will is the amazing true story of Herman Rothman’s remarkable life, including how he managed to escape from Nazi Germany before the war began, and his role in bringing to light Hitler’s personal and political testaments, which shed important light on his final thoughts.


Hitler’s Will – Written by Herman Rothman – Edited by  Helen Fry – Publishers: The History Press – November 2009 – ISBN 978-0752448343

What I thought:

Since I read The Diary of Anne Frank in fifth grade, I have read any book that I can find about this time period. I am a firm believer that we need to learn from the Holocaust and teach our children about the atrocities. Soon, there will be no survivors around to tell about their experiences.

I read Hitler’s Will in just over two days. It would have been less if I had more time to simply read. Even if I did not know Hermi, this book was fascinating. Hermi explains about his life in Germany under Hitler. Then, he takes us along on his journey from Germany to England where we learn about life in a new world. The book goes into a lot of detail about how he enlisted in the British army and served in the intelligence area doing a lot of interrogation. Readers find out how Hitler’s Will was found, translated, and used.

I have to admit, one of my favorite parts of biographical books are when photos are included. Hitler’s Will is no different.

Photos from Hitler's Will by Herman Rothman

I sat there looking at Hermi over the years in far off places, and then with his beautiful wife Shirley and their family. It really hit home.

Trying to summarize my feelings about this book is hard. It really was a unique look at one man’s life will to survive, work during World War II, and pledge to learn from history. The items in this book made me even more proud to call Herman Rothman a part of my family. TechyDad and I always look at our ketubah on our wall and smile knowing what an honor it is to have Hermi’s signature on our precious ketubah that started our married life together.

What have you read recently? Please be sure to link up to your Book Posts, and/or leave a comment below. Include something you read on your own, with a child or someone else. Tuesday Tales are all about spreading the love for books.


Disclosure: I snagged this book out of my mother’s house – thanks Mom! The opinions expressed in the review are my own and were in no way influenced by my relationship with the author. The widget within the review is an Amazon Affiliate where I will receive a percentage of money for the sale of the books should you opt to buy the book mentioned.

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  • Sandra Foyt says:

    I’m tackling much lighter fare. My son’s book club is discussing Daniel Pinkwater’s 5 Novels this week. I haven’t started it yet, but I think I can whip through it in time for the Thursday meeting. I hope.
    Sandra Foyt´s last blog post ..An Apology to My Readers

  • What an amazing book – and to have him as part of your life.

    My grandaddy was a POW in Germany during WWII….he didn’t publish a book but kept a journal during his captivity. It’s amazing and priceless to me.
    Debra @ A Frugal Friend´s last blog post ..From the Archives- A Mother’s Legacy

  • Ali Hensley says:

    I’m currently chewing my way through George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones. I’ve had friends telling me for years to read this series, and once HBO got its mitts on it, I thought- geez, I probably should. So I’m working on it!

  • Aubrey says:

    I recently read The Yellow Star. It was about a town in Poland that was turned into a camp for the jewish during WWII. Only 80 people survived and the book was written by one of only 12 children. My son had picked up the book at a book fair after finishing Number the Stars and The Diary of Anne Frank. Him and I really enjoy learning more about this war and how we can work on keeping hate away from us, and try to help others over come it too.

  • Elle says:

    I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been reading much lately. Hope summer will bring some time to read.

    I remember reading “The Diary of Anne Frank” when I was in elementary school and picturing myself in her place, thinking how hard it must have been for her and her family. “Hitler’s Will” looks like a fascinating book.
    Elle´s last blog post ..Random Tuesday Thoughts

  • I don’t even want to admit it, but the latest things I have read would be blogs and tweets. I really need to do something about it.
    Linda Carmical´s last blog post ..I’m Going to Bloggy Boot Camp!

  • […] I know that as my boys get older, TechyDad and I will do our part. We will make sure to read them books on the subject, visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, and make sure that they never forget about the Six […]

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