The Perfect Nazi by Martin Davidson, is a non-fiction book which follows the author's research about his grandfather, an SS officer. Mr. Davidson hit it on the nose when he wrote that this book “is a cautionary tale, a living example of the harm even little men can achieve in times of historical madness.”
Growing up in Scotland, Martin Davidson knew his grandfather as a man who likes to tell jokes and stories. After his grandfather died Mr. Davidson discovered that his grandfather had many skeletons in his closet, not the least a membership in the Nazi party (he was one of the first to join) who wore with pride his SS uniform.
Mr. Davidson goes on to investigate his grandfather’s role in the Third Reich and the atrocities committed under that banner. The story is written about Bruno Langbehn, but is paralleled to the rise and fall of the Third Reich.
I have been working on the genealogy of my family for many years now. I boast about 2,500 in my family tree going back to around 1,550. I have discovered lost cousins, opera singers, concert musicians but never, to my knowledge, anyone as notorious as Martin Davidson discovered in The Perfect Nazi.
Mr. Davidson is a television producer for the BBC but as a child growing up in Scotland he thought his grandfather was simply a retired German dentist. However, Bruno Langbehn was no mere dentist, but a proud member of the Nazi party wearing his Gold Party Badge (given to those who joined early and hence can claim low party ID numbers) with pride till his last day.
In the book, Davidson is forced to confront reality. His grandfather wasn’t a German jumping on the bandwagon, but a thug committed to the ideals of the National Socialist Party. While Davidson didn’t find out if his grandfather committed any atrocities, he was certainly one of the enablers who helped Hitler’s rise.