Auschwitz: A New History [NOOK Book]

Overview

Auschwitz-Birkenau is the site of the largest mass murder in human history. Yet its story is not fully known. In Auschwitz, Laurence Rees reveals new insights from more than 100 original interviews with Auschwitz 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 ...
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Auschwitz: A New History

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Overview

Auschwitz-Birkenau is the site of the largest mass murder in human history. Yet its story is not fully known. In Auschwitz, Laurence Rees reveals new insights from more than 100 original interviews with Auschwitz 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 Nazi leadership to prescribe Auschwitz as its 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 driven not just by ideological inevitability but as a "practical" response to a war in the East that had begun to go wrong for Germany. A terrible immoral pragmatism characterizes many of the decisions that determined what happened at Auschwitz. Thus 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.
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Editorial Reviews

Don Von Drehle
Laurence Rees's compact, devastating new history of the infamous death factory distills a crucial lesson -- perhaps the crucial lesson -- of the 20th century: that the human capacity for mass murder is grotesquely widespread and must be faced squarely if we hope to resist it.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
This pathbreaking work reveals the "destructive dynamism" of the Nazis' most notorious death camp. Rees, creative director of history programs for the BBC, consistently offers new insights, drawn from more than 100 interviews with survivors and Nazi perpetrators. He gives a vivid portrait of the behind-the-scenes workings of the camp: for instance, of how a sympathetic guard could mean the difference between life and death for inmates, and the opening of a brothel to satisfy the "needs" of sadistic camp guards. But this is more than an anecdotal account of Nazi brutality. Rees also examines, and takes a stand on, controversial issues: he argues, for instance, that bombing the camp's train tracks wouldn't have saved many Jews. Nor does he overlook stories of individual acts of kindness or the Danes' rescue of their Jewish community. Rees (The Nazis: A Warning from History) gives a complete history of the camp-how it was turned over time from a concentration camp into a death factory where 10,000 people were killed in a single day. Indeed, his argument for incrementalism at Auschwitz mirrors his larger claim that the "Final Solution" came about in an ad hoc fashion, as top Nazi officials struggled for a way to implement their virulent anti-Semitism. Some scholars have made this argument, and others reject it, but the depth and wealth of detail Rees provides make this treatment highly compelling. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. Agent, BBC. (Jan.) FYI: This book is the companion to a documentary that PBS will air in three two-hour segments, on January 19, January 26 and February 2. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610390118
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 1/2/2005
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 48,146
  • File size: 448 KB

Meet the Author

Laurence Rees is Creative Director of History Programs for the BBC and author of five books, including The Nazis: A Warning from History and Horror in the East: Japan and the Atrocities of World War II. He lives in London.
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Table of Contents

1 Surprising beginnings 1
2 Orders and initiatives 57
3 Factories of death 109
4 Corruption 165
5 Frenzied killing 219
6 Liberation and retribution 259
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    What Nazi really means

    As I watch the various news channels, I am consistently amazed at how freely individuals toss around the epithets "Nazi", "Socialist", "Communist" etc. Anyone who has seriously studied and read about specifically the horrors of the National Socialist agenda of Adolph Hitler could not realistically apply that term as easily as they do. I would strongly reccommend that anyone with a more-than-passing interest in current affairs read this book to place in context the application of a libel such as "Nazi" before handpainting a sign to express outrage about a particular program or person. I would not have considered for a moment applying a term such as this to President Bush, despite my serious and essential disagreements with almost all of his policies. If someone just want to toss language around that they have no idea what it really means, there is little that can be done about it. But knowing what you're talking about and what the words that you are using imply or mean makes an individual's position so much more credible.

    14 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2009

    Auschwitz is a riveting book.

    I have read many books about World War II and the Holocaust and I have to say that this book was the best that I have ever read. I was concerned that the material would be too dry and "research-like." The author has done a great amount of research and interviews with the "survivors," Nazi soldiers, as well as, people who lived near the concentration camps. The book did not "excuse" this atrocity but presented all perspectives and the humanity and inhumanity of the time. Definitely not a "light read" but an important read for those of us who like to understand more.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Well written

    I actually read this book a few years ago but since it has been update I might have to read it again. It was well written and as with most books on this subject it leaves you feeling depressed afterwards but it is still a very important part of world history.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2010

    A book everyone should read

    This book should be read by everyone. Its amazing to think there are people out there that can treat other people the way this book tells about. Its hard for a normal person to understand how others can act so inhuman towards people who they think are below them. The saddest thing is what happened in this book is still going on in different parts of the world right now. You would have thought we would have learned from history, but some have'nt and probally never will.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2008

    Detailistic

    I'm in the middle of this book and it has been amazing. The author uses eye witness accounts of the happenings in the camp. The author does an amazing job at talking about how the camp's history came to be what it is known as today and what it was like earlier in the war. Very sad book, but very interesting.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The book was well done, but the DVD puts the words into a breathtaking experience.

    Read the book - then purchase the DVD.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    :)

    this is a great book!!!
    it includes testimonies from nazis to jews and other victims...

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book is unique because the details are so extraordinary. You gain insight to the thoughts and views of all who were involved. It is an eye-opening read that I highly recommend.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    Auschwitz A New History

    This book is amazing!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    Amazing story of life and death in the concentration camp.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Good Read

    Well written and a good read with new interesting views.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    Very nice book.

    A very good book. Enlightening and detailed. Highly recomended for World War II enthusiast. A great historical book and a good reference for the next generation to come.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    Sorry

    I'm sure a lot of you enjoyed book. Could not get into I tried 110 pages. Just not for me.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    .

    .

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

    Highly recommended for everyone. The way this book was written really brought out the real fight people will go through to survive. It really brought out the evil in people.

    The way this book was written really brought out the real fight people will go through to survive. It really brought out the evil in people that some people refuse to believe is possible. It kept me wanting to not put the book down. Kudos to the author. Keep bringing reality to us.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 13, 2014

    I have read a number of books on Auschwitz and as the author poi

    I have read a number of books on Auschwitz and as the author points out this is the best know name when it comes to concentration camps and the murder of millions of Jews. When I first started reading the book, I got the impression that the author was trying to make excuses for the people working at this camp. However, I now see the author was laying the groundwork to explain what role Auschwitz had in the extermination of the Jews. Just like any subject there are different versions of what happened and who was the blame. The fact there were Jews who were in power over other prisoners makes you wonder if in the same position would you act the same way. Self preservation is very strong in most people so I can not blame these people because they were also trying to survive. This is a book that approaches the subject of German death camps from a new angle and is worth the time it takes to read. Other books on this subject differ fromthis one so you would just have to weigh the evidence and decide for your self. The book does at some points seem to get stuck in gear and the same subject is gone over and over several times without saying anything new. The best suggestion I can give is read the book and decide for yourself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2014

    Interesting read.

    If you are interested in the holocaust, you will like this book. It gives you a glimpse into the mindset of the Nazis and how they were able to perform such atrocities. There are also a lot of tales from true victims who were actually there. I really enjoyed this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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