S.S. colonel Jochen Peiper was one of the most controversial figures of the Second World War. Handsome, intelligent, and impetuous, he volunteered for the Waffen S.S. at an early age and dedicated his life to the Nazi cause. Peiper was Heinrich Himmler’s ever-present personal adjutant in the early years of the war, and once on the fighting front with the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, he became known for a flamboyant and brutal style of warfare.
After the war, Peiper became the central subject in the bitterly disputed Malmédy war crimes trial, where he was condemned to death but ultimately released due to the efforts of Senator Joseph McCarthy and an Atlanta attorney Willis M. Everett, Jr. After moving to eastern France in 1972, he was harassed by the French Communists and died in a gun battle at his home on July 14, 1976–Bastille Day. His assassins were never identified.
In A Deadly Past, historian Danny Parker highlights the fascinating characters and personalities of Peiper’s story and asks such questions as how an intelligent, cultured, and capable man could decide to embrace malevolence? Through rich narrative and extensive interviews with German veterans, Belgian, Italian and French civilians, and participants in the trial at Malmédy, A Deadly Past helps us to fathom the world of Hitler’s Third Reich, a morally inverted world in which cruelty was good and kindness belied fatal weakness.
Coming in 2013-2014 • History • 400 pages
North American Rights: Da Capo Press
First Serial, Translation, Audio & Performance Rights: Curtis Brown, Ltd.