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.
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.
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.
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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.