Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944—1947
Sheridan, CO: Aberdeen Books, 2010.
Reviewed by Nelson Rosit
I was flattered when asked to review Thomas Goodrich’s book Hellstorm. Though first published in 2010 it has recently come out in paperback and Kindle editions and deserves wider notice. That said, I knew this would not be an easy book to read and review.
Hellstorm chronicles the atrocities and deprivations visited upon Germany from 1944 to 1947. Though much of the story will be familiar to serious students of World War II, the author appears to have also included some new primary-source material. The bibliography shows that Goodrich has accessed most of the older major works in this field, making Hellstorm a well-researched compendium. So, if you have not read Bacque, Sajar, Keeling, et al. you will find them quoted and footnoted here.
In addition to hundreds of footnotes the book contains two maps, always a plus, sixteen pages of photographs, and a useful bibliography and index. If fault can be found, it would be that Goodrich seems to have completed his research by 2000 so none of the more recent historiography has been included. Also, there are places in the narrative where the events described are not assigned a date and location making the chronology a bit unclear.
These are minor criticisms, however, because it is not simply as a piece of historiography that Hellstorm finds its power, but as a gut wrenching, heart rending story of human suffering and the malice that produced that misery. Read more »