I found this book incredibly interesting and compelling, I’ve since bought my dad a copy of it for fathers day, which he has subsequently lent to my brother. Needless to say, we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
A Higher Call is a story about how in the height of WW2, a German fighter ace escorted a badly damaged American bomber out of Nazi occupied France allowing the American crew to reach England. It would have been easy for the German pilot, Franz Stigler, to shoot them out of the sky and add another plane downing to his tally, but instead he did something which, if found out, would have had him court-martialed. In doing so he saved the crews lives.
For me, this book is a rare time in which the war is told mostly from the perspective of a German. Something which isn’t often portrayed (the only other telling in this manner I can recall is Generation War, which I would highly recommend). It is interesting to see this perspective, and I feel it brings some empathy and humanises the German soldiers when then are often all portrayed as monsters. Not all of them were members of the SS, implementing Hitlers “Final Solution”. Some of them were simply citizens turned soldier, following orders given by their countries leaders.
That isn’t to say that I dismiss the atrocities which happened in WW2, a lot of people needlessly died due to the actions of the Nazi aggressors. However I feel this story breaks down the tribalism and association with specific nationalities or ideologies, and shows instead an interaction between humans. Which, lets not forget, we all are.
If you are interested by WW2 history, military history, or human interactions, then you will enjoy this book.