Is this a novel about the Nazis? Or is it a memoir about a historian trying to write about the Nazis? Somehow, it’s both — and it’s brilliant. Binet, who is French, has found a way of opening up the subject, to make us really think about the Nazis. This is the story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler’s deputy, and possibly the most horrifying Nazi of all. The title, Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich, which means “Heydrich is Himmler’s brain”, partly suggests why – Heydrich was, to a significant extent, the psychopathic brains behind the Nazis’ most horrific plans. Luckily, he was so arrogant that he went around in an open-topped Mercedes.
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