We often hear about saboteurs during World War II in Europe or in the Pacific Theater (the war as it was fought in the Pacific Ocean) but rarely do we hear about it happening on U.S. soil. But in fact, Hitler was very much interested in stopping the large manufacturing machine that the United States had in place. He realized that the U.S. could help win the war simply by producing all the things that were needed to win a war – airplanes, guns, bombs, tanks, etc. It became a goal of the Nazis to place saboteurs in the United States with the sole purpose of disrupting the manufacturing of goods that were important to war.
Enter a man named George Dasch. He was a man who was born in Germany but left when he couldn’t find a good job. He came to America and stayed for many years, mostly working as a waiter. He even married an American woman. However, he never felt he was doing anything really important. So when his mother came for a visit from Germany and saw that he wasn’t doing anything super special, he decided to move back to Germany. What George didn’t realize was that Germany under Hitler had become a very repressive country and he was even more limited in what he could do. He did have one skill though and that was that he had lived in America for many years and could speak English and knew about America life and culture. He was just the sort of man that Hitler and the Nazis were looking for to infiltrate the U.S. and start taking out the manufacturing structure.
Nazi Saboteurs: Hitlers Secret Attack on American by Samantha Seiple is a really interesting look at a little known event and about group of men, all with connections to the United States who were tapped to influence the outcome of the war. However, as a reader, you realize the impacts of what these men did continues to play out in our world today.
Recommended for grades 7 and up.