Released in November of 2016, D-Day Through German Eyes: The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944 has become one of the best-selling WWII books on Amazon and claims to include never before recorded interviews with veterans who fought in the Normandy landings. The book was written by author Holger Eckhertz, who claims he obtained the information via research done by his grandfather, Dieter Eckhertz, who was a journalist in the 1950’s. However, a number of historians have since claimed many of the accounts the book gives appear to be fabricated, with many of the soldiers being made up.
Several experts on WWII have come forward to dispute the claims made in Eckhertz’s book, including Giles Milton, author of D-Day: The Soldiers’ Story. “There’s no record of any of the soldiers in any other publication. If you put in any other soldier [into a search engine] you will find a trace of them somewhere, even in the Bundesarchiv”‘ Milton said in an interview with The Times.
Further suspicion has risen after it has become apparent that the book’s author seems like a very difficult man to track down. No telephone directories in either Britain or Germany list a ‘Holger Eckhertz,’ nor even anyone with that surname. It has also come to light that the companies’ named as his publisher and translator, DTZ History Publications and Sprech Media, are not listed in either Companies House or the German equivalent.
It has also been found that there is no record of the book, or by anything written by the author in the German version of the British Public Library, indicating that the title isn’t a translation of a book originally written in German.
However, there are some who believe the book’s attention to detail give it some credibility. Robert Kershaw, who wrote a D-Day book entitled Landing on the Edge of Eternity, said that there is plenty of accurate information to be found in the book. “It would have taken a lot of effort to make it up because there is sufficient accuracy in the small parts I looked at to warrant inclusion,” he said.
For now it remains to be seen as to whether or not Eckhertz’s book is genuine, but no doubt the truth will be discovered sooner rather than later.