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Auschwitz Paperback – April 17, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393322912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393322910
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is truly the definitive history of the town and camp.” (Booklist)

“The important story [told]—really for the first time—is not 'why the Holocaust?' but 'why Auschwitz?'” (Boston Globe)

“A milestone in Holocaust literature.” (Nechama Tee, author of Defiance: The Bielski Partisans)

“The authors use photographs, blueprints, and testimonials from survivors as they consider the question of whether Auschwitz could have happened just anywhere.” (Newsweek)

From the Publisher

The Rose Professor of Holocaust History at Clark University, Debrah Dwork is the first full-time endowed professor of Holocaust studies in the United States. Robert Jan van Pelt is a professor of cultural history in the architecture school at the University of Waterloo in Canada. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book skillfully combines a history of German influence in the East with a detailed look at the death and labor camps of Auschwitz. Using the architectural records left behind as well as statements of people who were there to outline the story, the authors trace the development and changes of the Auschwitz camps from 1939 to the present day. The skillful use of architectural plans provides insight into the changing purposes the camp adapted to in its short but terrible life. Also, the authors trace the German influence in the area back to the founding of the town in 1270 and relate the camp's shifting purpose to the territorial goals of the Germans in the East both before and during the war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Baldesweiler on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
I felt that this book was an extremely interesting book that gave a different view on the transformation of the Polish town Auscwitz. The book explains how it was once an ordinary town that soon became one of the leading concentration camps in the Nazi era. The book explains the different stages the town went through from 1270 to the present. It was once a small Polish town, then a production site for gravel and sand, later an execution site, a place where Himmler wanted to build a farm communities, and then the answer to the "Jewish" question.
What I liked about this book was that it gave a mass amount of illustrations, ranging from pictures to graphs to building plans. This book also had some eye witness accounts from the view of the Jewish survivals, explaining what their feelings and reactions were during this time. The book is broken into two parts: Nostalgia and Fullfillment and Ambition and Perdition. The first part explains the history of the town and the second part starts off with the concentration camp. The Epilogue, "Owning and Disowning Auschwitz" I thought gave a quick and interesting view on the town today and what happend to it after the fall of the Nazi's. It briefly explains the problmes that arose afterwards and the concentration camp today.
After giving the history of Auschwitz,the authors end with a question that still haunts the Jewish people today, Why?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John M. Lane on October 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am very impressed by Professors Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt and their book, AUSCHWITZ. Mine is the paperback edition by Norton and the book includes photographs, maps, graphs, charts and copies of original Nazi blueprints for crematoria (some of which included "corpse cellars" which the SS converted to gas chambers) many of which I've never seen before.

The book actually appears to me to be more of a library than a single, integrated narrative about an infamous Nazi concentration camp. It starts sedately enough with a cultural/historical examination of the town of Auschwitz from its medieval beginnings to World War II. I'm of East Prussian descent and found that more interesting than other readers might, however. The authors cover an immense amount of information about geology, geography, weather, other descriptive information. For me, that was a book in its own right.

As the authors close in the 20th century, they focus on Heinrich Himmler and his SS and the bureaucratic empires and ideological visions of "the German East" that influence Nazi policy. The authors do a good job of threading a very difficult needle and they include information which was new to me. I had never realized, for example, that Alfred Rosenberg was in a position to compete with Himmler and Goering for the Fuhrer's favor. This was great stuff, but it was like a second book insofar as I could see. The only fault I could find with the authors' analysis was that it seemed to minimize Hitler's role in the Holocaust. Perhaps the authors are "Functionalists"? I'm not, however, and I greatly prefer the more "Intentionalist" emphasis of Professor Richard J. Evans' THE THIRD REICH AT WAR or Professor Christopher R.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Baldesweiler on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
I felt that this book was an extremely interesting book that gave a different view on the transformation of the Polish town Auscwitz. The book explains how it was once an ordinary town that soon became one of the leading concentration camps in the Nazi era. The book explains the different stages the town went through from 1270 to the present. It was once a small Polish town, then a production site for gravel and sand, later an execution site, a place where Himmler wanted to build a farm communities, and then the answer to the "Jewish" question.
What I liked about this book was that it gave a mass amount of illustrations, ranging from pictures to graphs to building plans. This book also had some eye witness accounts from the view of the Jewish survivals, explaining what their feelings and reactions were during this time. The book is broken into two parts: Nostalgia and Fullfillment and Ambition and Perdition. The first part explains the history of the town and the second part starts off with the concentration camp. The Epilogue, "Owning and Disowning Auschwitz" I thought gave a quick and interesting view on the town today and what happend to it after the fall of the Nazi's. It briefly explains the problmes that arose afterwards and the concentration camp today.
After giving the history of Auschwitz,the authors end with a question that still haunts the Jewish people today, Why?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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