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Description - Given Up for Dead by Flint Whitlock

During World War II, prisoners of war were required by the Geneva Conventions to be treated according to established rules. But in late 1944, when a large number of Americans were captured or surrendered during the Battle of the Bulge and elsewhere, their captors had different plans. Those who were Jewish or from some other "undesirable" ethnic or religious group were separated from their fellow captives and sent to the brutal slave-labour camp at Berga. Until now, the story of what these men endured has been a well-guarded secret.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465091157
ISBN-10: 0465091156
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 140mm x 15mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 28-Mar-2006
Country of Publication: United States

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Book Review: Given Up for Dead by Flint Whitlock - Reviewed by (12 Jul 2011)

Flint Whitlock has done it again! After reading and reviewing "Internal Conflicts" I was glad that the conclusion of that book was based on historical fiction. Quite the contrary, I was horrified that the contents of this book are very real and lurid, with such inhumane acts being inflicted to American prisoners of war that were doled out by barbaric men who in the end were given a slap on the wrist. The history of W. W. II is well known. After swallowing up large parts of Europe starting in 1938 which included Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, Belgium, Greece and Yugoslavia, et al, in the last six months of 1941 Adolf Hitler launched an aggression that would ultimately cost him the war, his life and the obliteration of "The Third Reich." First he attacked the Soviet Union on June 22nd, and by years end, four days after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, he made another major blunder. President Franklin Roosevelt and his administration received the following communication from Hitler: "The Government of the U.S., having violated in the most flagrant manner and in ever-increasing measure all rules of neutrality in favor of the adversaries of Germany and having continually been guilty of the most severe provocations toward Germany ever since the outbreak of the European war, provoked by the British declaration of war against Germany on September 3, 1939, has finally resorted to open military acts of aggression. Although Germany on her part has strictly adhered to the rules of international law in her relations with the United States during every period of the present war, the Government of the United States from initial violations of neutrality has finally proceeded to open acts of war against Germany. The Government of the United States has thereby virtually created a state of war. The German Government, consequently, discontinues diplomatic relations with the United States of America and declares that under these circumstances brought about by President Roosevelt, Germany too, as from today, considers herself as being in a state of war with the United States of America." Flint Whitlock would prove that the only law Adolf Hitler would adhere to was of his own machinations. From sending in the Wheremacht and Luftwaffe into Russia, expecting them to survive nevertheless victoriously prevail with little petrol and light winter clothes, to taking on Britain, the U.S. and Canada, to attempting to implement his "master race" demented Aryan philosophy, it was only a matter of time until the world found out what Adolf Hitler was capable of. 1942 would give universal flavor to the aforementioned. Lidice is a village in the former Czech Republic just north-west of Prague. As part of the 1938 "Munich Agreement," The Czech state was now part of the Third Reich. Reinhard Heydrich, also known as "The Hangman," was a high-ranking German Nazi official who chaired the 1942 "Wannsee Conference," of January 20, 1942, which discussed plans for the deportation and extermination of all Jews in German-occupied territory. In an operation named "Operation Anthropoid," he was attacked in Prague on May 27, 1942 by British-trained Slovak and Czech agents who had been sent to assassinate him there. He died approximately one week later due to his injuries. Lidice, as per orders directly from Heinrich Himmler, the Reich Leader of the dreaded Gestapo from 1929 until 1945, was completely destroyed by German forces in reprisal for the assassination of Heydrich in the late spring of 1942. The world was getting a minor taste of the future . On June 10, 1942, Himmler ordered all 192 men over 16 years of age from the village murdered on the spot and the rest of the population of Lidice sent to Nazi concentration camps where many women and nearly all the children were killed. However, "Given up For Dead" is not about the war, politics or the "Battle of the Bulge." It is about the American prisoners Hitler's forces took in their initial success at this battle, specifically 350 of them. The seven main protagonists that Whitlock used were Morton Brooks, Gerald Daub, Norman Fellman, Joe Mark, William Shapiro, and the only non Jews, Peter Iosso and Anthony Acevedo. Whitlock would later write about this group: "By Christmas (1944-45) they would be fighting for their very lives in struggles of great magnitude. And their fates would be intertwined in ways they never could have imagined." The Battle of the Bulge was the largest battle fought by the Americans in World War Two. 600,000 American troops were involved in the battle. The Americans lost 89,500 men while the Germans lost 100,000 killed, wounded and captured. 19,000 Americans were killed, 47,500 wounded, and 23,000 captured or missing. This book chronicles how Hitler's stooges treated Americans, particularly Jewish G.I.'s in captivity. Hitler's attack was so fast and furious, that many soldiers were captured without even their boots on. Immediately, the Geneva conference was flaunted by the Germans. Joe Mark reported after surrendering: "After capture, we were assembled by the road and Krause shared a K-ration with me. While waiting, the Germans prepared their anti aircraft weapons for transport. A German officer told one of the Americans to help. The American said it was against the Geneva Convention to help. The German said "Ja, Geneva Convention" and shot him." There are several books existent of how Germans were treated as POW's in this country, distributed in camps located in Wisconsin, Texas and New Hampshire, et al. There is no American equivalent as to the beastly treatment American G.I.'s were accorded in Nazi Stalag's, or Nazi sentiment if one was Jewish, Catholic,or "an undesirable" in Concentration Camps, used for slave labor.


Author Biography - Flint Whitlock

Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Flint Whitlock is a former U.S. Army officer who served on active duty from 1965 to 1970, including a tour in Vietnam. He has been a military historian since 1986 and is the author of Soldiers on Skis, The Rock of Anzio, and The Fighting First. He is a regular contributor to World War II magazine and WW II History magazine. He is the president of the newly formed Colorado Military History Museum, Inc. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

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