Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-1316-6 • Hardback • November 2011 • $102.00 • (£78.00)
978-1-4422-1317-3 • Paperback • March 2014 • $46.00 • (£35.00)
978-1-4422-1318-0 • eBook • December 2011 • $43.50 • (£33.00)
Donald M. McKale is Class of 1941 Memorial Professor and Professor Emeritus of History at Clemson University, where he taught from 1979 until his retirement in 2008. He received his Ph.D. from Kent State University in 1970 and taught during the 1970s at what is now Georgia College & State University. He spent 1975–1976 teaching at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. While at GC&SU and Clemson University, he earned both institutions’ highest faculty awards for his teaching, research, and service to school and profession. In 1988 he received a titled professorship, named in honor of the fifty-seven members of Clemson University’s Class of 1941 who died in World War II.
McKale’s research has ranged widely, exploring the history of subjects such as World War I, the Nazi party and German diplomacy, the Holocaust and World War II, and the postwar myth that Adolf Hitler survived the war and defeat of his Nazi regime. The most recent of his seven books, Hitler’s Shadow War: The Holocaust and World War II, was a 2003 main selection of the History Book Club. His War by Revolution: Germany and Great Britain in the Middle East in the Era of World War I (1998) received the Charles Smith Book Award from the European section of the Southern Historical Association. During his career, McKale received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and German Academic Exchange Service. Several film and television companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe have employed him as a consultant. He lives in Clemson, South Carolina, with his wife, Janna.
Chapter 1: World War II and Allied Promises
Chapter 2: Four Faces of Genocide: What Happened in the War
Chapter 3: Leaving Auschwitz
Chapter 4: A Liberation of Contrasts
Chapter 5: Soviet “Liberators”
Chapter 6: In the Custody of Leniency
Chapter 7: Nuremberg, Number Two, and the Substitute
Chapter 8: Nuremberg: “King Frank”
Chapter 9: Nuremberg: “Fred” the “Endowed Seer” and Verdicts and Sentences
Chapter 10: Poland: Occasional Trials amid a Continuing Holocaust
Chapter 11: Memory in West Germany: Long and Short
Chapter 12: Pseudo-Purges and Politics
Chapter 13: Other Trials and Amnesty
Chapter 14: Eichmann, Jerusalem, and Eichmann’s Henchmen
Chapter 15: Hunting the Comfortable
Chapter 16: Four Faces Long after the War: What Didn’t Happen
Chapter 17: The Post-Holocaust World
McKale's book stands out, not only for the detailed review of the war crimes of innumerous Nazis, but because he also chronicles their lives in the years following WWII. The book is graphic and the memories of survivors are painful to absorb, as one prisoner describes a concentration camp like 'Dante's inferno . . . come to life,' while another recounts mass executions in the gas chamber. McKale uncovers a recurring theme of denial during criminal trials: Dr. Warner Best insisted that the first time he heard about the killing of 5–6 million Jews was in the courtroom and Josef Kramer claimed, 'I did not know the purpose of the gas chamber.' But it's the enduring anti-Semitic attitude that resounds throughout the book; many war criminals went unpunished in the years following WWII. Even Adolf Eichmann, one of the most infamous Nazi criminals, went free for nearly twenty years, escaping Germany through a well-established 'rat line.' McKale ends the book with a haunting question: whether life would be different today if the Allies had pursued Holocaust criminals more aggressively after WWII. History buffs and students of the Holocaust will be fascinated with this book.
— Publishers Weekly
This is Donald McKale’s eighth book about Nazi history. His knowledge of the subject clearly runs deep. In his latest work McKale conducts a survey—methodically sketching some of Hitler’s most famous henchmen and in particular their postwar lives and how some contributed to the Holocaust denial movement (although most did not themselves deny the Holocaust). McKale’s approach is narrative, blending chronology and biography. Consequently, the structure of the book mirrors the postwar scattering of former Nazis. The reader alternately learns about capture and trial in Nuremberg or Copenhagen, flight to Damascus, or the establishment of residence in Chile. . . . Nazis after Hitler is a recommended read for students of the Second World War in general and of the Holocaust in particular.
— Holocaust and Genocide Studies
'It didn't happen!' 'I didn't know anything about it!' 'It's all an exaggeration!' 'The Jews made it up!' 'The Jews caused it!'. . . Donald M. McKale delves into all of this in his well-researched book Nazis after Hitler: How Perpetrators of the Holocaust Cheated Justice and Truth. . . . [M]ost interestingly, he highlights just how these arguments used by the Nazi murderers would become the arguments used by today's Holocaust deniers.
— Martyrdom and Resistance
There are probably few scholars as knowledgeable in their special field of study as Donald M. McKale, particularly when that scholar is recognized simultaneously for the excellence of his pedagogy.
— New York Journal of Books
This well-intentioned book is a philippic against the persistence of antisemitism since 1945, the postwar inability or refusal of Nazi war criminals to recognize the injustice of what they had done, and the failure of the victorious Allies to identify the Holocaust as a distinct form of crime.
— German Studies Review
Donald M. McKale has written a clear and comprehensive history of how Nazi's escaped justice after 1945. . . . Overall, McKale has documented his study well, including much recent research, such as books on Eichmann by historians David Cesarani and Deborah Lipstadt.
I have just finished reading a book that should be read by every Jew in the world. . . . This book is the most detailed and complete book on the subject.
— Cleveland Jewish News
A significant contribution that provides an excellent synthesis of the latest research. Its biographical approach offers a captivating narrative of the postwar lives of infamous Nazi perpetrators who escaped justice.
— Joseph W. Bendersky, author of A Concise History of Nazi Germany and Carl Schmitt: Theorist for the Reich
Donald McKale's Nazis after Hitler makes gripping and important reading about a topic that invariably invites serious controversy. His strong argument about the comparatively lenient treatment of Nazi perpetrators, both infamous and obscure, will provoke debate among scholars and should find a wide reading audience.
— Eric A. Johnson, Central Michigan University; author of Nazi Terror and What We Knew
In this book, readers have the opportunity to follow the developments in the years after World War II that made it possible for most of those who had played active roles in the systematic murder of Jews to evade trial and punishment altogether or to suffer delayed and slight justice. The author also shows by reference to those trials that were held how the perpetrators originated in their own defense many of the arguments that would become a part of the stock in trade of those who deny or minimize the Holocaust.
By first describing the careers of Holocaust perpetrators—whether famous, like Hermann Goering, or known primarily to specialists, like Werner Best—and then recounting their fate in the postwar years, McKale provides the reader with an opportunity to follow their lives and the real or non-existent pursuit of justice. The context of German and Austrian societies largely eager to forget, judiciaries reluctant to take horrendous crimes seriously, and Cold War shifts on both sides toward leniency and even employment of perpetrators is thoughtfully described. The initial interest of the Americans and the reluctance of the British to conduct trials, the early and the routinized trials by the Soviets, the contrast between a few trials in Poland and the pogroms there against Jews trying to return to their homes, and the lengthy efforts by a tiny number of concerned individuals to find and bring to trial those like Eichmann and Mengele, who had escaped to Syria and South America, are all covered here on the basis of comprehensive research.
The author makes a point of showing that essentially all who had played an active part in the killing of vast numbers whose only crime had been their birth never expressed the slightest degree of regret or remorse. They had done what they were supposed to do, and they thought it either entirely proper or of no moral significance. McKale also suggests that the general indifference to the issue at the time contributes to the maintenance and revival of virulent anti-Semitism into the present time. Anyone interested in a major horror of the twentieth century and how so many who played significant roles in it came to live out their lives in a way they had denied to their victims will find an enlightening but sobering account here.
— Gerhard L. Weinberg, author of A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II