Mission at Nuremberg
An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis
Once Adolf Hitler was defeated, U.S. Army Chaplain Henry Gerecke received his most challenging assignment: he was sent to Nuremberg to minister to the twenty-one imprisoned Nazi leaders awaiting trial for crimes against humanity. Mission at Nuremberg takes us deep inside the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, into the cells of the accused and the courtroom where they answered to the world for their crimes. These twenty-one Nazis had sat at Hitler's right hand; Hermann Goering, Albert Speer, Wilhelm Keitel, Hans Frank, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner were the orchestrators, and in some cases the direct perpetrators, of the most methodical genocide in history.
As the drama leading to the court's final judgments unfolds, Tim Townsend brings Henry Gerecke's impossible moral quandary to life. Gerecke had visited Dachau and had seen the consequences of the choices these men had made, the orders they had given and carried out. How could he preach the gospel of mercy, knowing full well the devastating nature of the atrocities they had committed? As execution day drew near, what comfort could he offer—and what promises of salvation could he make—to evil itself?
Detailed, harrowing, and emotionally charged, Mission at Nuremberg is an incisive new history of the Nuremberg trials as well as a nuanced refection on the nature of morality and sin, the price of empathy, and the limits of forgiveness.
Praise For Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis…
“Townsend’s account is full of surreal moments Gerecke witnessed during his time in Nuremberg” — Publishers Weekly
“Rich, potentially explosive. ... Townsend authoritatively addresses the excruciating moral and religious issues confronting wartime chaplains.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Gripping.” — Daily Mail (London)
“Engagingly told…Townsend illuminates a hidden gem of World War II history and brings to light the life and career of a truly heroic Christian man…an important book. It deserves a wide audience.” — Christianity Today
“A gripping story... puts the reader inside the cells of various Hitler henchmen.” — Wichita Eagle
“Sheds light on a little-known player in an iconic episode of world history. ... A well-written study about a subject matter that can’t help but hold a reader’s attention.” — America in WWII Magazine
“A dramatic story.” — Lutheran Quarterly
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780061997204, 416pp.
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
About the Author
Tim Townsend has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. In 2005, 2011, and 2013, he was named Religion Reporter of the Year by the Religion Newswriters Association for his work at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is a Washington, D.C.-based editor at Timeline.com.