A New History

Book - 2005
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This vivid and harrowing narrative history of the most notorious concentration camp of the Holocaust preserves the authentic voices of survivors and perpetrators

The largest mass murder in human history took place in World War II at Auschwitz. Yet its story is not fully known. In Auschwitz , Laurence Rees reveals new insights from more than 100 original interviews with survivors and Nazi perpetrators who speak on the record for the first time. Their testimonies provide a portrait of the inner workings of the camp in unrivalled detail-from the techniques of mass murder, to the politics and gossip mill that turned between guards and prisoners, to the on-camp brothel in which the lines between those guards and prisoners became surprisingly blurred.

Rees examines the strategic decisions that led the Hitler and Himmler to make Auschwitz the primary site for the extinction of Europe's Jews-their "Final Solution." He concludes that many of the horrors that were perpetrated in Auschwitz were the result of a terrible immoral pragmatism. The story of the camp becomes a morality tale, too, in which evil is shown to proceed in a series of deft, almost noiseless incremental steps until it produces the overwhelming horror of the industrial scale slaughter that was inflicted in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

Publisher: New York :, Public Affairs,, [2005]
ISBN: 9781586483579
Branch Call Number: 940.53185 REE
Characteristics: xxii, 327 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 21 cm


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May 19, 2013

History of Auschwitz and the "Final Solution" of the Nazis. Incorporates viewpoints of both survivors as well as those who worked for the SS. The author provides eye witness accounts of the degradation that was endemic in this and the other camps for those who were killed as well as those co-opted to assist in the killings to save their own lives without it being prurient. Although heart wrenching this is a book that everyone should read. Hopefully no one who reads this will ever utter the words "those people", the first step of dehumanizing people.

Dec 30, 2010

An overriding theme is that you don't know how you would behave unless you were in these situations yourself. That goes both for the perpetrators as well as their victims.

Covers more than just Auschwitz, it covers the other camps too, as well as a lot of viewpoints from those who were the architects of the Nazi atrocities.

A very interesting read.

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