The Devil's Doctor: Felix Kersten and the Secret Plot to Turn Himmler Against Hitler

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9780471396727: The Devil's Doctor: Felix Kersten and the Secret Plot to Turn Himmler Against Hitler

The Devil's Doctor

The true story of one man s courageous fight against unspeakable evil

In May 1940, as Nazi panzers overran the Netherlands, Felix Kersten received a summons he dared not refuse. A successful and prosperous physical therapist who had ministered to the Dutch royal family, Kersten was "asked" to forsake his adopted home in the Netherlands and become personal physician to Nazi Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler. While others might have spent the ensuing years paying fearful obeisance to this monstrous and unpredictable master, Kersten discovered that he had both the means and the courage to manipulate the surprisingly naive Himmler. In doing so, he saved thousands of lives and actually persuaded Himmler to join in a plot to overthrow Himmler s hero, Adolf Hitler.

The Devil s Doctor tells the incredible true story of how one brave man did everything he could, and more than he ever imagined, to turn the corrupt and maniacal Nazi power structure against itself and prevent the slaughter of thousands. This riveting and compelling tale will convince you that one person s courage and determination truly can make a difference.

Praise for John Waller s The Unseen War in Europe

"Superb.... Mr. Waller knows his territory." --The Washington Times

"One of the most readable histories ever published of espionage, conspiracies, and intrigues that formed the backdrop against which the war s military campaigns were fought. . . . John H. Waller writes credibly and authoritatively on his subject." --Cleveland Plain Dealer

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From the Inside Flap:

You may not be familiar with the name Felix Kersten, but after reading The Devil’s Doctor you will never forget it. Prepare to meet one of the most unlikely and little-known heroes in the fight against Nazi atrocities–a talented and very successful middle-aged physical therapist who, under threat of harassment, was drawn into the corrupt power center of the Third Reich.

Acclaimed historian and former OSS officer John Waller tells a vivid tale of treachery compounded by moral depravity; of the failing loyalty of high-ranking Nazi zealots; and of one man’s efforts in the face of grave personal danger to hasten the defeat of Hitler’s Reich, thereby saving thousands of Nazi concentration-camp inmates condemned to die.

Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s most trusted acolyte and the man in charge of carrying out the Holocaust, suffered excruciating attacks of stomach pain, which only Kersten’s "magic hands" could relieve by their remarkably effective massages. Pressed into service as Himmler’s personal medical adviser and physical therapist, Kersten found himself in a unique position from which to gather information to be passed on to the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS). More importantly, he discovered that he could manipulate Himmler’s psyche as well as ease his chronic pain. And, by exploiting Himmler’s addiction to astrology and appealing to his sense of survival as Nazi Germany faced certain defeat, Kersten could steer Himmler toward high treason against his Führer.

The Devil’s Doctor tells the amazing story of how Kersten convinced Himmler to resist Hitler’s plan to enslave 8 million recalcitrant Dutch and Flemish citizens and ultimately resettle them in a conquered Eastern Europe. It reveals the details of a conspiracy in which Kersten convinced Himmler to plot to overthrow Hitler, after which he would surrender German troops to British and American forces while leading Germany in a continued war against the Russians in the East. And it recounts Kersten’s finest moment when, with the war’s end just weeks away, he saved the lives of more than 60,000 Jews in concentration camps by persuading Himmler to disobey Hitler’s direct order to kill them all.

With this inspiring story of the victory of one man’s humanity over the depraved barbarity of history’s worst criminals, Waller convincingly shows that the name Kersten should be enshrined alongside those of Wallenberg, Schindler, and Sugihara.

About the Author:

JOHN H. WALLER, an intelligence officer during World War II and a foreign service officer abroad in the postwar era, is an acclaimed historian and the author of five previous books, including The Unseen War in Europe: Espionage and Conspiracy in the Second World War. He lives in McLean, Virginia.

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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United States, 2002. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. An unbelievable story of treason and treachery within the Third Reich The Devil s Doctor is the intriguing account of an unsung hero of World War II Dr. Felix Kersten. The physical therapist to Heinrich Himmler, one of the most infamous figures in history, Kersten probably had more influence on him than anyone else. He secretly collaborated with the Dutch underground, conspired with the head of Nazi intelligence to steer Himmler toward turning against Hitler, and, in his crowning achievement, facilitated the release of thousands of Jews still remaining in death camps during the waning days of the Third Reich. The Devil s Doctor brings special insight to spy vs. spy intrigue and the moral depravity at the core of the Nazi empire. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780471396727

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