A Hanging Offense: The American Hangman of Nuremberg

Nearly 70 years ago, U.S. Army Master Sergeant John C. Woods carried out his most famous assignment. On October 16, 1946, the beefy 35-year-old Kansan, the only American hangman in the European Theater, dispatched 10 top Nazis sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. He boasted later that he had already executed 347 people during his 15-year career, including several American servicemen accused of murder and rape, along with Germans accused of killing downed Allied pilots and other offenses.

In World War II Today...

“[A] deep and sweeping account of a relentless search for justice.” —The Washington Post

More than seven decades after the end of the Second World War, the era of the Nazi Hunters is drawing to a close as they and the hunted die off. Their saga can now be told almost in its entirety.

A Relentless Pursuit: Bringing Holocaust Perpetrators to Justice

Is it ever too late to pay for a crime? While thousands of Holocaust perpetrators were brought to trial immediately after World War II, interest in seeking justice for Nazi crimes waned with the start of the Cold War. However, a few determined individuals continued to bring perpetrators to account in trials held around the world.

Nagorski Traces Nearly-Forgotten History In ‘Nazi Hunters’

Following the end of World War II, the U.S. and its European allies pivoted immediately to a new mission: to stop the spread of Soviet Communism. The Cold War had begun, Nazis who would have been tried as war criminals suddenly became key resources in the fight against the communists, and the atrocities of the Holocaust seemed ready to be forgotten.

Nagorski Traces Nearly-Forgotten History In ‘Nazi Hunters’

Following the end of World War II, the U.S. and its European allies pivoted immediately to a new mission: to stop the spread of Soviet Communism. The Cold War had begun, Nazis who would have been tried as war criminals suddenly became key resources in the fight against the communists, and the atrocities of the Holocaust seemed ready to be forgotten.

Book review: 'The Nazi Hunters' by Andrew Nagorski

“I’ve tried to make sure that people don’t forget what happened,” concentration camp survivor and famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal told author Andrew Nagorski in their last conversation before Wiesenthal died in 2005.

In his latest history, “The Nazi Hunters,” Nagorski accomplishes that goal as he profiles the hunters — Germans, Americans, Israelis, Poles, French and Austrians — and their prey, the war criminals who managed to create new lives for themselves after the Holocaust.

Book review: 'The Nazi Hunters' by Andrew Nagorski

“I’ve tried to make sure that people don’t forget what happened,” concentration camp survivor and famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal told author Andrew Nagorski in their last conversation before Wiesenthal died in 2005.

In his latest history, “The Nazi Hunters,” Nagorski accomplishes that goal as he profiles the hunters — Germans, Americans, Israelis, Poles, French and Austrians — and their prey, the war criminals who managed to create new lives for themselves after the Holocaust.

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