The Odessa File Book Review
The Odessa File is a thriller novel by Frederick Forsyth, first published in 1972. It tells the story of a young German journalist who tries to track down a former Nazi concentration camp commander with the help of a secret organization of former SS members called ODESSA. The book is based on historical facts and events, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Riga Ghetto, and the Israeli nuclear program. The book also explores the themes of guilt, justice, and revenge in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
The protagonist of the book is Peter Miller, a freelance crime reporter who stumbles upon the diary of a Holocaust survivor named Salomon Tauber, who committed suicide after seeing his former tormentor, Eduard Roschmann, alive and well in Hamburg. Tauber's diary describes his horrific experiences in the Riga Ghetto, where Roschmann was known as "The Butcher of Riga" for his brutal and sadistic treatment of the Jews. Miller becomes obsessed with finding Roschmann and bringing him to justice, but he soon realizes that he is not the only one looking for him. He is contacted by a group of Jewish vigilantes who have ties to the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. They ask Miller to infiltrate ODESSA, an acronym for Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen (Organization of Former Members of the SS), which helps former Nazis escape prosecution and start new lives. Miller agrees to pose as a former Waffen-SS sergeant and undergoes a rigorous training by a repentant ex-SS member. He then follows a trail of clues and contacts that leads him to Roschmann's hideout. Along the way, he discovers that Roschmann is involved in a sinister plot to supply Egypt with rockets capable of carrying nuclear warheads, which could threaten Israel's existence.
The Odessa File is a gripping and suspenseful novel that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. Forsyth's writing style is clear and concise, and he uses authentic details and historical references to create a realistic and believable scenario. The characters are well-developed and complex, especially Miller, who undergoes a transformation from a cynical and indifferent reporter to a passionate and determined crusader. The book also raises ethical and moral questions about the legacy of Nazism and the responsibility of the post-war generation to confront it. The book has been adapted into a film in 1974 starring Jon Voight as Miller and Maximilian Schell as Roschmann.
If you are looking for a thrilling and engaging read that combines history, politics, and action, you should check out The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth. You can find it online for free at [this link].