Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis' Final Gamble
, 2006 - History
- 303 pages
In February of 1945, 350 American POWs, selected because they were Jews, thought to resemble Jews or simply by malicious caprice, were transported by cattle car to Berga, a concentration camp in eastern Germany. Here, the soldiers were worked to death, starved and brutalized; more than twenty percent died from this horrific treatment.
This is one of the last untold stories of World War II, and Roger Cohen re-creates it in all its blistering detail. Ground down by the crumbling Nazi war machine, the men prayed for salvation from the Allied troops, yet even after their liberation, their story was nearly forgotten. There was no aggressive prosecution of the commandants of the camp and the POWs received no particular recognition for their sacrifices. Cohen tells their story at last, in a stirring tale of bravery and depredation that is essential for any reader of World War II history.