New Books Network

Alex J. Kay

The Making of an SS Killer

The Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert, 1905-1990

Cambridge University Press 2016

New Books in BiographyNew Books in Genocide StudiesNew Books in German StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network September 16, 2019 Natasha Margulis

Alex Kay’s The Making of an SS Killer: the Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert, 1905-1990 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) is a must read for...

Alex Kay’s The Making of an SS Killer: the Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert, 1905-1990 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) is a must read for those interested in the Third Reich, the Holocaust, and World War II.  Focusing on the actions and consequences of a “front-line Holocaust perpetrator”, Kay’s biography diverges drastically with the traditional bios of other more well-known Nazis.  Kay argues that Filbert chose to become an exceptional Nazi Party member and that his career–as well as his life–hinged upon what seems to be an unquestionable dedication to the cause.  This book is not only well-researched, but intellectually tantalizing and addictive.  Kay’s narrative hooks you from his introduction and by the time the reader has finished, it is hard to believe that this is based on the facts of Filbert’s life and career.  Instead, it seems almost Hollywood-like in its tensions and its twist of an ending.