The Undercover Nazi Hunter (Kindle)
Exposing Subterfuge and Unmasking Evil in Post-War Germany
Wolfe Frank was Chief Interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials where he was dubbed ‘The Voice of Doom’. A playboy turned resistance worker he had fled Germany for England in 1937 having been branded an ‘enemy of the state – to be shot on sight’. Initially interned as an ‘enemy alien’, he was later released and allowed to join the British Army – where he rose to the rank of Captain. Unable to speak English when he arrived in England, by the time of the trials he was considered to be the finest interpreter in the world.
In the months following his service at ‘history’s greatest trials’, Frank became increasingly alarmed at the misinformation coming out of Germany, so in 1949 backed by the New York Herald Tribune he risked his life again by returning to the country of his birth to make an ‘undercover’ survey of the main facets of post-war German life and viewpoints. During this enterprise he worked as a German alongside Germans in factories,
on the docks, in a refugee camp and elsewhere. Equipped with false papers he sought objective answers to many questions including: the refugee crisis; anti-Semitism; morality, de-Nazification; religion; and nationalism.
The result was an acclaimed series of articles that appeared under the generic title of ‘Hangover After Hitler’. The NYHT said at the time: ‘A fresh
appraisal of the German question could only
be obtained by a German and Mr Frank had
all the exceptional qualifications necessary. We believe the result of his “undercover” work
told in human, factual terms, is an important contribution to one of the great key problems of the post-war world – and incidentally it contains some unexpected revelations and dramatic surprises’. The greatest of those surprises was Frank single handedly tracking down and arresting Waldemar Wappenhans ranked 4th on the Allies ‘wanted’ list and taking and transcribing the Confession of the Nazi who Himmler had decided would be Head of SS in Great Britain if Germany won the war.
Leaving aside the undeniable atrocities of the Nazi regime, the Confession, and Frank’s assessment of Wappenhans shows him to have been a brave, often honourable, warrior who devoted his life to serving his country with the highest distinction – on land and in the air – throughout some of the greatest battles of both world wars.
The Undercover Nazi Hunter not only reproduces Frank’s published series of articles (as he wrote them) and a translation of the full confession – a hugely important historical document which, until now, has never been seen in the public domain – it also reveals the fascinating behind- the-scenes story of a great American newspaper agonizing over how best to deal with this unique opportunity and these important exposés.
The book covers this extraordinary period in his life with brief coverage of his less than successful existence once his time in Nuremburg passed. It is very clear that Frank was “his own man” and was not made to conform to the life of a prisoner or a soldier. However being an early master of simultaneous translation and the interpreter selected for some high profile moments, he was able to “get away with” some of his transgressions. Like all characters his manager would have wished he were working for someone else!Robert Bartlett
With short chapters and snappy writing this book is an easy read. The story is an unusual one, well told flowing at a pace.
Historian Paul Hooley has written two books about Wolfe Frank who was Chief Interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials and announced the sentences of the court to the Nazi War Criminals. “Based on Frank’s memoirs and some remarkable historical sleuthing ‘Nuremberg’s Voice of Doom’ and ‘The Undercover Nazi Hunter’ are the expanded memoirs of a quite extraordinary character who was involved in incredibly dangerous stuff bringing Nazis to justice. “They are a fascinating couple of books and these stories were almost lost to history – check them out and enjoy!Dan Snow
Together with Paul Hooley, editor of this book, the pair spent a year putting together Mr. Frank’s notes in some sort of order to create a manuscript. The articles, originally published in a series called Hangover After Hitler, together with the Wappenhans confession and excellent editorial notes make a compelling book which is difficult to put down.Man of la Book
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The amount of work that the editor has invested in researching Frank´s whole career is impressive and the result is also a vast painting of post-war Germany with many insights.Lars Gyllenhall, Blogger
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An interesting book which gives a contemporary view of Germany in 1949 from the articles written by the author from a perspective that I suspect no other author would have been able to elucidate.Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)
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For anyone who didn't attend Paul Hooley's last talk on Wolfe Frank, you missed a real treat. Wolf was one of the most important characters involved in the Nuremberg trials and served as primary interpreter throughout. The undercover Nazi Hunter continues Wolf's story as he goes back to Germany post war to assess the situation on the ground for the Americans and whilst he is there bring more Nazi war criminals to justice.Waterstones Salisbury, Manager
I like to consider myself as a bit of a History buff but had never heard of Wolfe Frank. His story is incredible and he really is one of the unsung heroes of the Second World War. One whose story everyone should hear.
Enthralling insight into the social and political situation in Germany in the aftermath of the Second World War.Ark Books
Wolfe Frank tells a fascinating story of his efforts to track down and expose Nazis. He also provides a candid account of his colourful life and loves.Firetrench
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This book with its two distinct parts gives a valuable insight and record of the life in post war Germany and of a senior military man who tried to do his duty within all the complications and constraints of Hitler’s Germany. It is up to the reader to conclude if Gruppenfuhrer Wappenhans deserved punishment for his role in the occupied territories.Robert Bartlett
Article: 'Nazi hunter book launch in Salisbury' as featured bySalisbury Journal, 11th April 2019
In 1949, German born Frank Wolfe was Chief Interpreter at the Nuremberg war trials of Nazi generals and Leaders. Earlier, in 1937, branded as an enemy of the state because of his resistance work, he fled Germany. and at he outbreak of WW11, he joined the British Army.Richard Gough, Military Author and Historian
Following his service at Nuremberg he returned to Germany, undercover, to write a series of articles for the New York Herald and Tribune. He found the cities in ruins, he describes the chaos in Germany following its defeat by the Allied Powers. The country had been bombed and fought-over, and with his false papers he was able to meet German workers. Fortuitously he discovered the whereabouts and arrest of SS General Waldemar Wappenhans, listed fourth on the allies wanted list. He transcribed the SS General's confession and this, together with his articles for the New York Herald Tribune, provides the reader with a fresh look a nation in defeat.
Click here to listen to author interviewBBC Radio Wiltshire with presenter Graham Rogers, 3rd April 2019
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Article: 'Second book on Mere's Nuremberg interpreter' as featured byGillingham and Shaftesbury News, April 2019
Article: 'Memoirs of a war trial interpreter unleashed' as featured byValley News, April 2019
Article: 'More Wolfe Frank memoirs' as featured byBlackmore Vale Magazine, 29th March 2019
Interview article 'Translating evil' as featured byHistory of War, issue 65 - words by Tom Garner
As featured inThe Bookseller Buyers Guide