Auschwitz - Buchenwald - Belzec - Sobibor - Treblinka
The Nazi concentration camps
Rudolph Hoess denied personal responsibility with all the atrocities which occured in
Auschwitz. He himself said that he never personally had anything against
the Jews and he never killed one -- let alone tortured one -- yet he authorised the murder
of some four million inmates.
This book is by far the single most important book
about the Holocaust. Rudolf Hoess wrote these memoirs
while he was drying off in prison after his capture by the British.
Voluntarily, he wrote in detail about his life, as well as some pretty nasty occurances
which occured in Auschwitz. His memoirs, aside from the odd bout of denial of
responsibility, are a rare piece of information into both the nature and workings of the
Holocaust and they serve as a terrific example of how one stupid man let his
family-oriented sense of obeying orders and duty get the best of him. Everybody
should read this book, for inside it are the writings of the first Kommandant of
Auschwitz: one who watched millions of innocent human beings dissolve in the gas chambers,
burn in the crematoriums, and their teeth melted into gold bars. His greatest
crime of all was the submission into the workings of this terrifying regime, while
forgetting all human nature and feelings, and acting only on behalf of orders and a sense
of duty. I repeat, this is a must read for everybody, whether or not they are
interested in the Holocaust, for it also serves as a very big lessson to never, ever, no
matter what, let a senseless killing of people take place again. If we do not
learn from this, and such a thing happens again, then there may be not a single survivor
to live and tell the tale.
Anatomy of the Auschwitz
Death Camp, edited by Yisrael Gutman and Michael Berenbaum, is probably the most
comprehensive volume on Auschwitz in print. Essays by leading scholars from
Europe, Israel, and the United States document the history of the camp, the technology and
magnitude of the genocide that occurred there, profiles of the inmates and the Nazis who
ran the camp (such as Joseph Mengele), the underground resistance that arose, and what the
outside world knew about Auschwitz and when. It's not a book to read straight
through because of the sheer volume of information (more than 600 pages of text) and the
horror of its contents. But it's the best resource for answering a wide
variety of questions about the camp, especially those raised by the many excellent memoirs
by the survivors. --Michael Joseph Gross
Theory and Practice of Hell:
The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them
by Eugen Kogon
This is the most horrifying book I've ever read. The
individual acts of violence portrayed in the book are bad enough. The fact
that they are all true is worse. However what sets this book apart from other stories of
mass murderers is that all the murderers (SS-men, Kapos, etc.) are
all part of one SYSTEM, specifically designed to carry out the disgusting acts described
in the book.
This book is Eugen Kogon's account of the Buchenwald concentration camp.
an outgrowth of a document he wrote for the Nurnburg trials.
Much has been said about the "objectivity" of his writting, although I do not
see how anyone ever came to such a conclusion. He is persistently preaching
about the evil of the concentration camps, and his assessment of the intellect of SS men
is slanderous at best. The book dwells on every act of corruption engaged in by both
the SS and inmates in positions of authority. However, he never acknowledges
any such misconduct on his own part. He also does a cover up on crimes
perpetrated against German POW's and innocent civilians by the Allies and camp inmates
after the liberation of the concentration camps.
" . . . Mr. Arad reports as a controlled and
effective witness for the prosecution. . . . Mr. Arad's book, with its abundance of
horrifying detail, reminds us of how far we have to go." --New York Times Book Review
" . . . some of the most gripping chapters I have ever read. . . . THE authentic,
exhaustive, definitive account of the least known death camps of the Nazi era."
Arad, historian and principal prosecution witness at the Israeli trial of John Demjanjuk
(accused of being Treblinka's infamous "Ivan the Terrible"), uses primary
materials to reveal the complete story of these Nazi death camps.
the Concentration Camps
by Eugene Aroneanu, Thomas Whissen
Aroneanu, a Romanian, was
assigned the task of drawing up the first lists of Nazi atrocities in 1945 for use at the Nuremberg war crime trials.
This book is the result
of his research. The 100 eyewitness testimonies by concentration camp
survivors are intermixed, arranged by subject matter to reflect the chronology of the
camps from deportations to liberation. The survivors were not only Jews but
also Gypsies, Catholics, Communists, and Jehovah's Witnesses;
attorneys, doctors, teachers, students, soldiers, a bakery clerk, and a
mechanic. They speak of unbelievable horror; the book also contains statements
from 25 official reports from such death camps as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buchenwald, Dachau,
Mauthausen, and Ravensbruck. No other work documents these crimes
against humanity as powerfully and vividly as this one.
George Cohen Copyright© 1996, American Library Association. All rights reserved
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