Debbie Cenziper: Citizen 865
The Hunt for Hitler's Hidden Soldiers in America
In 1990, in a basement archive in Prague, two American historians made a startling discovery: a Nazi roster from 1945 that no Western investigator had ever seen. The long-forgotten document helped unravel the details behind the most lethal killing operation in World War II. In the Polish village of Trawniki, the SS set up a school for mass murder and then recruited an army of 5,000 soldiers to help annihilate the Jewish population of occupied Poland. After the war, some of these men vanished, making their way to the United States and blending into communities across America, their terrible secrets intact. In a story spanning seven decades, Citizen 865 chronicles the harrowing wartime journeys of two Jewish orphans who outran the men of Trawniki and settled in the U.S., only to learn that some of their onetime captors had followed. A tenacious team of Nazi hunters pursued these men, and up against the forces of time and political opposition, battled to the present day to remove them from U.S. soil.
Debbie Cenziper is an investigative journalist and author based in Washington, D.C. A contributing reporter for the investigative team at The Washington Post, she has won many major awards in American print journalism including the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy award for human rights reporting.