The Perfect Nazi

Written by Martin Davidson
Review by Gordon O'Sullivan

Throughout his childhood, television producer Martin Davidson thought his grandfather was simply a retired German dentist, a dominant and sometimes domineering personality. But when Bruno Langbehn died, the truth that Davidson uncovered was worse than he or his family could have imagined. Bruno had in fact been a member of the Nazi party, but not just any member; he had worn the Gold Party Badge, a sign of early and devoted adherence to Hitler. Even more disturbing was the further discovery that his grandfather had been an officer in the dreaded SS.

This book retraces Bruno’s journey from disillusioned adolescent to a man at the heart of the Nazi regime and finally to the dentist who settled in Britain as Davidson attempts to piece together how his grandfather and millions of fellow Germans were seduced by Hitler.

While The Perfect Nazi does suffer somewhat from a lack of original source material – as the author admits, much of Bruno’s past lies out of reach – this is a fascinating book that highlights the difficulty in reconciling personal memories with the truths of the past.