If you only listen to one book about what it felt like to be present during the worst time in modern human history, a time when your life could be snuffed out for having the mere thought of opposition against the Nazi regime, this should be the book. It is told by survivors and by one of the greatest survivors of them all, Jan Wiener.
"Jan Wiener's fascinating, well-documented book tells of the heroic exploits of various Czech men and women, most of whom paid for their resistance with their lives. Above all it gives a detailed, documented account of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the most gruesome of the Nazi murderers, by Czech resisters parachuted from London but aided in their task by the Czech underground." (William L. Shirer, author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
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The true story behind the movie
- Mary Karowski
Great read for history or military buffs
The Assassination of Heydrich: Hitler's Hangman and the Czech Resistance by Jan Wiener is a comprehensive telling of the sufferings of Czech people during Nazi occupation as well as the Czech resistances valliant efforts to thwart the Nazis.
Jan Wiener tells his own story of WWII as well as that of his countrymen. The chapters alternate between the author’s tale of escaping Czechoslovakia, his family’s tragedies and his experiences as a POW in Italy and that of the united effort to rid Czechoslovakia of one of Hitler’s worst. I found the story layout confusing, and I would have preferred a straight telling of the Czechoslovakian Resistance.
In general I love military stories. I really enjoyed the story of the RAF’s assassination plot and how the town came together to protect the men involved. I was less interested in the author’s personal war story, and the recap at the end was redundant. I did appreciate how the author’s story eventually intersects the story of Heydrich’s assassination.
Mark Kamish admirably narrated the book. His intonations, pronunciation, and character voices helped to keep straight the vast number of people in the book. He compels listeners to feel more of the horrific atrocities endured by the townfolk than the mere words on the page convey.
The Assassination of Heydrich: Hitler's Hangman and the Czech Resistance is an interesting take on the bravery of the Resistance fighters and their supporters.
- Zach Galvin