The Reluctant Nazi

In Adolf Hitler’s early rise to power, he stirred the souls of impressionable youth in alehouses of Munich and beyond. One such young man, Hans Reinhard Richter, ignored is brother’s warnings about the madman and immersed himself in Hitler’s promise for a greater Germany. “I put on my black shirt and marched.” He joined the Nazi Party and quickly rose in ranks to answer to the likes of Himmler and Göring. As an SS officer himself, Hans was charged with overseeing coal mines, reconfiguring them as gold depositories. He fulfilled his superiors’ orders to steal from banks, museums, and even concentration camp victims to build vast wealth for the party.

After his first wife, an SS spy, died during childbirth, Hans married Irma. By that time, both had become increasingly disillusioned with empty promises of Hitler and his henchmen. They embarked on a dangerous mission to siphon off a portion of the gold, gems, and valuable art they had stolen for the Nazis. Hans and Irma opened accounts under fictitious names and hid their stashes in banks across Europe. Once Hitler initiated the Final Solution, Hans broke with Nazi Germany and courageously joined, first, the OSS and then the CIA to investigate reported sightings of Hitler in South America.

Did he find the Führer, or did he reach a dead end?


“This is a gripping, ripping tale of intrigue involving many of WW2’s prominent people. It probes the evil of National Socialism and the veil of deception and control sustaining it. The protagonist, Hans Heinrich Richter, is an antihero in that he must often abide wrongdoing to do a greater good. Many of the historically curious are baffled at how Germany, a cultured and advanced country, could come under the control of what Churchill called a monstrous tyranny. This novel provides an insight.”  ~Steve Goodrich

Pablo Zaragoza’s historical fiction novel, The Reluctant Nazi, is one of the best war stories written in years. It tells how the Nazis confiscated the gold, diamonds, and precious works of art from occupied countries in Europe; these valuables ended up in the hands of the Nazi elite. It was impossible to put this book down without feeling the terror, cowardice, and immense brutality that the Nazis imposed on all of the countries they conquered. Woven through these horrific acts is the tale of bravery of a man and his woman who became disillusioned with Hitler and the SS. The Reluctant Nazi is balanced and detailed, a heartrending work of art by this award-winning author, Pablo Zaragoza. ~ Amado Vizoso