At the end of World War II, an American military intelligence team retrieved an original copy of the 1935 Nuremberg Laws, signed by Hitler, and turned over this rare document to General George S. Patton. In 1999, after fifty-five years in the vault of the Huntington Library in southern California, the Nuremberg Laws resurfaced and were put on public display for the first time at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
In this far-ranging, interdisciplinary study that is part historical analysis, part cultural critique, part detective story, and part memoir, Tony Platt explores a range of interrelated issues: war-time looting, remembrance of the holocaust, German and American eugenics, and the public responsibilities of museums and cultural centers.
This book is based on original research by the author and co-researcher, historian Cecilia O'Leary, in government, military, and library archives; interviews and oral histories; and participant observation. It is both a detailed, scholarly analysis and a record of the author's activist efforts to correct the historical record.
“Bloodlines is a masterful work of non-fiction that has plots and subplots, brilliant detective work, and serious learning. Everything is examined with scholarly precision, everything is told insightfully, boldly, truthfully. The result is intellectual history at its best—and like so many who start off on a journey of discovery, Platt learns that the external journey is also a journey within.”
—Michael Berenbaum, Former Director of the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Research Institute and Former President of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.
“Bloodlines explodes the Patton myth.”
—Joe Eskenazi, “How Gen. Patton Stole a Piece of Jewish History as his Prize,” J, the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, April 21, 2006.
“Hollywood couldn’t craft a more intriguing story, which is just as well. History is stranger than fiction.”
—Matthew Craggs, review of Bloodlines, Sacramento News and Review, April 27, 2006.
“Tony Platt’s pursuit of the notorious Nuremberg documents of the Nazi regime is a fascinating excursion into history. It is also full of provocative insights about the culture of remembering.”