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Auschwitz: A New History Paperback – January 10, 2006
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The author attempts to answer that question and succeeds in doing so brilliantly. This is a very well-written book that will appeal to those who are interested in the general human condition, as well as those interested in the holocaust itself. It is scholarly, yet, at the same time, immensely readable. This is because the author has put a very human face on the dreaded death camp of Auschwitz. The stories and experiences of more than a hundred people are integrated throughout the narrative, which delves into the historical backdrop of the Nazi political machinery and its leadership. Survivors of Auschwitz, as well as Nazi perpetrators, tell of their experiences in the hell that was known as Auschwitz, and they tell it from their own unique perspectives. The symbiosis that often existed between prisoner and prison guard is quite unsettling, as are the attendant moral and ethical issues.
The author attempts to help the reader understand how it was that the "final solution" came about. It is an unsentimental, intellectually objective, critical analysis of one of the most infamous episodes in modern history and warfare. The author carefully delineates how the Nazis developed their reprehensible strategy for global genocide, and how it came about being implemented.Read more ›
World War I laid the seeds for the rise of German resentment for the loss of a war they felt was turned against them. At the core, in search for a causative factor, the Jews were perceived as the evil reason for Germany's losses. Not that anti-Semitism was limited to Germany: Rees wisely shows that those feelings were fairly widespread throughout the world. Yet it took the early fanatics that included Adolph Hitler to strive to purify Germany, rid the fatherland of the useless consumers of food that robbed the Germans of their rightful needs, and repatriate lost Germans to the fatherland at any cost. Rees postulates (with excellent quotations from both Nazi perpetrators and concentration camp survivors throughout this book) that the primary goal of creating concentration camps such as Auschwitz was to provide way stations for gathering non-Germans for deportation to make room for the return of 'lebensraum' for those of pure German blood.Read more ›
The author is correct that the various components of the Holocaust were to some degree the Nazis' improvised solutions to self-created problems. But he seems to have been incapable of tying this together. A decision was clearly reached at some point in 1941 to exterminate the Jews, at least wherever they fell within the Nazis' dominion. But this took shape in several highly regional actions: the Einsatzgruppen were a mobile 'death squad' that acted mainly in the occupied Soviet territories, Chelmno was meant to destroy the Jews chiefly in the Warthegau, the three Operation Reinhard Camps were meant to destroy the Jews mainly in the General Government, and ultimately Auschwitz was chosen as the site to import and destroy the Jews from the rest of Europe because of its 1) access to railways, 2) its economic value as a slave labor camp kept it operating whereas this was not true of Belzec, Treblinka, etc, and 3) it had a high capacity.
But this is barely explored in the book -- that the final solution even once decided upon in 1941 didn't ever crystallize into a 'site' until around 1943 when Auschwitz seemed like the only place it could be centralized. The author unbelievably fails to note how Hoess actually traveled to Treblinka (according to his own testimony and memoirs) and chose to operate his own extermination mechanism differently. This is critical because Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, and Chelmno were exclusively SS operations, self-contained, unsophisticated, etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a really good refresher for those of us who's memory has dimmed as to what took place.Published 1 month ago by David H. Stearrett
An intriguing, heart-wrenching biography of the infamous Nazi concentration camp. This story explains in detail how the decision to commit wholesale genocide was arrived at, and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nancy A
Extremely detailed and very well researched. I have read many, many books on the worst leader this world ever had. I hope this never happens again including USA.Published 4 months ago by Eduardo Ruiz
Zeig Heil? The author comes off as a Nazi apologist in this detailed analysis of how people can be turned into sheeple by authoritative leadership, full bellies, and flagrant... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Fr. Schellenberg
An excellent and well told history of Auschwitz. Very easy to read as well.Published 6 months ago by Joe
Gripping and shocking in depth account of the horror of the holocaust and the thought process of the men who made it happen. Highly recommended.Published 6 months ago by Luke Jellett
An excellent choice for the person who wants a book on World War II that is well written and offers some depth. Read morePublished 7 months ago by stevenk1155
Generally speaking, I knew about the death camps but the book goes deeper into the thoughts of the Jewish people and relationships they had with each other and the SS. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
As many can imagine, some of the things you read in this book change you in one way or another. Though I think everybody who would be looking into this topic has some idea of what... Read morePublished 9 months ago by David O'Leary