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The Hunt for Hitler's

Hidden Soldiers in America 


"Citizen 865 is a story about darkness but also about light, the pursuit of truth by a team of American Nazi hunters that worked to expose the men behind the most lethal operation in the Holocaust. Year after year, the team scrambled to hold these collaborators accountable for their crimes not only for those who had perished in the war but also for those who had survived, and for the benefit of a world that too often finds itself in the exact same place more than seventy years later, forced to explain bigotry, hate, and mass murder.”

-Debbie Cenziper, Citizen 865

"Cenziper brought her investigative skills to bear on the challenge of retrieving the hard facts, but she also possesses the gift of a storyteller....[Citizen 865 is] a highly significant work of investigation that is eye-opening and heartbreaking. She compels us to confront the crimes of the Trawniki men in a way that burns itself into both memory and history."

The Washington Post 

"Enriched by Debbie Cenziper's world-class investigative skills, Citizen 865 is a powerful piece of history that washes over you in waves of horror and beauty."

David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good American Family

"This riveting saga, replete with heroes and villains, is the true story of a few good men and women who worked tenaciously to expunge an evil in our midst.”

 George F. Will, author of The Conservative Sensibility

"Investigative journalist Cenziper details American efforts to bring Nazi collaborators to justice in this gripping narrative. Readers of true crime and Holocaust history will be swept up by this brisk, thrilling account." 

Publishers Weekly

"With much human interest, Cenziper draws out all the implications for the principles of justice for victims and perpetrators of unspeakable crimes."

Booklist, Starred Review

"Cenziper provid[es] fascinating insight into the personalities, motivations, and procedures of the OSI prosecutors.... The accounts of Lucyna and Felix...are told with a great deal of empathy."

The Library Journal

About Debbie 

Author, Journalist, Teacher, Speaker

Debbie Cenziper is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author who writes for The Washington Post. She is the director of investigative reporting at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications.


Debbie has spent more than twenty years writing about the struggles of American families. Her work has sent people to prison, changed local, state and federal laws, prompted FBI and Congressional investigations and produced more funding for affordable housing, mental health care and public schools. 

She has received many major awards in American print journalism, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Human Rights, the George Polk award and Harvard University's Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.


Debbie grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from the University of Florida. She lives near Washington, D.C.

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"Debbie Cenziper's account vividly - and movingly - captures both the frustrations and triumphs of this extraordinary group of dedicated men and women who refused to abandon the quest for a measure of long overdue justice." 

-Andrew Nagorski, author of 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War and The Nazi Hunters 

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Praise for Citizen 865

"Citizen 865 is a great book that couldn't come at a more crucial time. In telling the story of a little-know Holocaust site called Trawniki and the people who dedicated themselves to bringing some of modern history's worst monsters to justice, Debbie Cenziper has honored the vanishing plea to never forget, first by breaking my heart with the worst of humanity, and then, with the best of us, stitching it back together."

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist David Finkel, author of Thank You for Your Service and The Good Soldiers

"Citizen 865 reads like a thriller, but it is so much more… [It] tells an essential and unknown tale of post-war justice and the search for truth, linking the events of the Holocaust to the familiar, more recent past. Telling this story of a decades-long quest for justice is itself an act of justice."

Ariel Burger, author of WITNESS: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom, Winner of the National Jewish Book Award-Biography

Citizen 865 is a fantastic piece of detective work by a superb journalist...A compulsively readable story of mass murder and an epic quest by Nazi hunters to bring evil men to justice.”

-Alex Kershaw, New York Times best-selling author of The Bedford Boys and The Longest Winter 

"Debbie Cenziper has written a page-turning detective story about the hunt for Nazi killers living openly in neighborhoods across the United States….This is a book that anybody interested in the quest for international justice should read." 

Michael Isikoff, co-author of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump

“This is a gripping tale, which reads at times like a novel. Just when you thought you knew everything about the Holocaust, we learn about the uniquely devastating role of the Trawniki training center. At a time of rising anti-Semitism, Debbie Cenziper’s Citizen 865 offers a harrowing reminder of the consequences of unchecked racism and anti-Semitism. And it serves as a repository of hope -- that the leadership of good men and women could bring a measure of justice to the world in the face of such overwhelming evil.”

 – Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League
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Debbie welcomes your emails. For speaking, appearance and reprint requests, or for all other requests or comments, contact debbie here. 

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