The Collaborators: Three Stories of Deception and Survival in World War II Audiobook, by Ian Buruma Play Audiobook Sample

The Collaborators: Three Stories of Deception and Survival in World War II Audiobook

The Collaborators: Three Stories of Deception and Survival in World War II Audiobook, by Ian Buruma Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Ian Buruma Publisher: Penguin Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 7.17 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.38 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: March 2023 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780593671146

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:

18

Longest Chapter Length:

64:53 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

04 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

35:37 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:

9

Other Audiobooks Written by Ian Buruma: > View All...

Publisher Description

Ian Buruma’s spellbinding account of three near-mythic figures—a Dutch fixer, a Manchu princess, and Himmler’s masseur—who may have been con artists and collaborators under Japanese and German rule, or true heroes, or something in between. On the face of it, the three characters in this book seem to have little in common—aside from the fact that each committed wartime acts that led some to see them as national heroes, and others as villains. All three were mythmakers, larger-than-life storytellers, for whom the truth was beside the point. Felix Kersten was a plump Finnish pleasure-seeker who became Heinrich Himmler’s indispensable personal masseur—Himmler calling him his “magic Buddha.” Kersten presented himself after the war as a resistance hero who convinced Himmler to save countless people from mass murder. Kawashima Yoshiko, a gender-fluid Manchu princess, spied for the Japanese secret police in China, and was mythologized by the Japanese as a heroic combination of Mata Hari and Joan of Arc. Friedrich Weinreb was a Hasidic Jew in Holland who took large amounts of money from fellow Jews in an imaginary scheme to save them from deportation, while in fact betraying some of them to the German secret police. Sentenced after the war as a con artist, he was regarded regarded by supporters as the “Dutch Dreyfus.” All three figures have been vilified and mythologized, out of a never-ending need, Ian Buruma argues, to see history, and particularly war, and above all World War II, as a neat story of angels and devils. The Collaborators is a fascinating reconstruction of what in fact we can know about these incredible figures and what will always remain out of reach. What emerges is all the more mesmerizing for being painted in chiaroscuro. In times of life-and-death stakes, the truth quickly gets buried under lies and self-deception. Now, when demagogues abroad and at home are assaulting the truth once more, the stories of the collaborators and their lessons are indispensable.

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About Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College. His books include The China Lover, Murder in Amsterdam, Occidentalism, God’s Dust, Behind the Mask, The Wages of Guilt, Bad Elements, and Taming the Gods.