David Downing is a master of establishing a keen sense of time and place. Even though I've never been to Berlin, much less anywhere in the winter of 1945, on every page of this novel I was awash in the crumbled ruins of Hitler's wrath. Strange choice of word, "wrath" - especially when used to characterize the Führer's dream of a utopian Germany? Well, there you are. That is Downing's voice, translated through protagonist John Russell. It's a voice that leaves me feeling as though the national leaders who engaged in World War II cared less about the safety and sanctity of people's lives than they did about the advancement of their cause. That Hitler might have preferred total destruction of the nation over sharing the country with non-Aryans becomes a logical conclusion one might draw here.
Because of Hitler's despicable actions and the subsequent involvement of so many countries ...
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