In 1990, in a basement archive in Prague, two American historians made a startling discovery: a Nazi roster from 1945 that no Western investigator had ever seen. The long-forgotten document, containing more than 700 names, helped unravel the details behind the most lethal killing operation in World War II.
In the tiny Polish village of Trawniki, Hitler’s SS set up a school for mass murder and then recruited a roving army of 5,000 men to help annihilate the Jewish population of occupied Poland. After the war, some of them vanished, making their way to the U.S. and blending into communities across America.
Drawing on her new book, Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America, Debbie Cenziper undfolds the harrowing wartime journeys of two Jewish orphans from occupied Poland who outran the “Trawniki Men" and settled in the United States, only to learn that some of their one-time captors had as well.
She traces how a tenacious team of prosecutors and historians sought to hold them accountable for their crimes decades after the war's end, and battled to the present day to remove them from American soil.
Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the Washington Post. Copies of Citizen 865 (Hachette Books) are available for purchase and signing.