Of all the extraordinary individual accounts that have come out of the Second World War and its aftermath, few can compare with that of Eric Pleasants, a member of the 'bastard' British wing of Hitler's SS - the British Free Corps. In this compelling autobiography, Pleasants writes of the bizarre and traumatic years he spent as a prisoner of the twentieth century's most notorious dictators.
A life-long pacifist, Pleasants spent the early years of the war on occupied Jersey. He was imprisoned by the Nazis for petty crimes and the years that followed held a whirlwind of unexpected turns. He lived life on the run in occupied Paris, was captured and recruited into the British Free Corps of the Waffen SS, found love with a young German woman, witnessed the bombing of Dresden and attempted to escape from Soviet troops along the sewers of Berlin. When the war ended, Pleasants found himself on the Communist side of the Iron Curtain. By now a strong man in a travelling circus, he was arrested by the KGB on charges of espionage and sentenced to 25 years' slave labour in the notorious camps of Artic Russia.
Only with Stalin's death in 1953 was Pleasants finally released from his unique kind of purgatory, after nearly half a lifetime of peripatetic nightmare. He died in 1998 at the age of 87. Hitler's Bastard remains a remarkable testimony to his imperishable will to survive.