Directive 19

Directive 19

by Rolf Schiller


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Directive 19 by Rolf Schiller

I decided whether you lived or died. That was my job.

"I was at the forefront of planning, organizing and carrying out the deportations to the concentration camps. I submitted recommendations to Superior Officers regarding the most cost effective and efficient methods to utilize in the camps to ensure the maximum number of executions on a daily basis. I participated in the killings of civilians and Jews conducted by Einsatzgruppen Units in the Ukraine and continued to offer proposals on means to expedite the process. I have killed with ruthless disregard for humanity. I ordered young German soldiers to kill with ruthless disregard for humanity. I personally authorized favorable reports on the use of Zyklon B as a gassing chemical and personally pulled the trigger of a machine gun to shoot civilians on the snowy steppes of the Ukraine. I hanged Polish, French and Dutch civilians during summary and reprisal executions. I am a criminal."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598003925
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 03/12/2006
Pages: 532
Product dimensions: 1.19(w) x 9.00(h) x 6.00(d)

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Directive 19 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Directive 19 doesn't necessarily subscribe to perfect editing and grammar rules but this can easily be forgiven as the author wasn't a literary genius. I was skeptical of this book at first. There is a plethora of works out there written by veterans of the Third Reich, yet Directive 19 seems to be the first historical work written by a self-confessed Nazi. Most works of this sort place considerable distance between the authors and war crimes. Not Directive 19. The author takes on full accountability for his part in the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. This book offers the full dynamic perspective of an officer's evolution in the Nazi SS. Some of the author's claims seem to be overly tea-steeped in a seemingly subversive desire to inform the reader that he hobnobbed and rubbed elbows with the Reich's elite cast but there is no solid evidence (researched) that proves otherwise. Rolf Schiller's accounts of the administrative network of the SD and SS are flawless although his recollections of participating in battles seem sketchy and scattered. However, this work must not be thrown into the piles of average Third Reich combat veteran stories. The chapters were seamless and I actually found myself educated on the 1940's perspective of German political relations. This is a stark descent into the inner workings of the high level Nazi circles that organized the slaughter of millions of people. I recommend this book. Do not be fooled by negative criticism about it. Despite my recommendation, I can't give this book full marks as it raises many questions about the Final Solution but provides very few answers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank you Mr. Schiller and Mr. Harker. 62 years ago I was a 17 year old boy in the 99th US Infantry. I traveled from Portsmouth England to the Normandy beachhead on June 12th 1944. I arrived in-country almost a week after D-Day and spent the next 9 months battling my way to Berlin. I was also part of the Ardennes conflict - which we refer to as the Battle of the Bulge. I took part in several skirmishes against Priess¿s and Dietrich¿s SS units and Peiper got the better of my unit north of St. Vith in Belgium. My son gave me Directive 19 for Father¿s Day and it¿s the only book I¿ve read about the Nazis that explained what they were thinking and why they did it. I spent 9 months in foxholes wondering what in God¿s name it was all about! I spent 62 years knowing what I was told but that never made complete sense. I guess there¿s a need for most Vets to know and understand what their enemy was thinking and feeling. Directive 19 allowed me to ¿meet¿ Mr. Schiller and hear his side of it. I don¿t agree with the political motivations and I abhor the concentration camps. I entered Dachau and saw that mess. However, Mr. Schiller allowed me to look down the barrel of ¿his¿ rifle while he was aiming at me - so to speak. This book told me what the Nazis thought of us and how they approached combat objectives. I can¿t close my comments without touching on the main focus of this book which is the holocaust. I remembering entering Dachau in 1945 and seeing the absolute testament of man¿s inhumanity to fellow man. To know that Mr. Schiller was a part of that decision making process turns my stomach. I must say I admire his honesty and integrity. He was tried and punished. He deserved that in my humble opinion. Despite this aspect of the book I was thrilled to learn about German tactics and strategy on the Eastern - and especially on the Western front. It helped me understand how an under-strengthed and poorly supplied army in the Ardennes had such success against us initially. It made me realize how naïve we were in our basic practices of warfare. It helped me understand a lot of things and helped me solve a 62 year old puzzle of what I was fighting for. It helped justify the deaths of a lot of my buddies in combat. I don¿t know if Directive 19 is good or bad as a book. I¿m not a critic. I felt it necessary to write this review for the sake of any fellow Allied veterans like me who spent so many years wondering what it was all about back there. Read this book if you want to understand it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Directive 19 is a goldmine full of personal information about the Third Reich. Even with its graphic subject matter this book requires reading and study by the expert academia. The majority of books concerning this theme consider the events from a particularly cursory perception but Directive 19 opens portals into previously unexplored areas. I was mesmerized by the ostensibly common disposition of the author in contrast to the events he participated in. Whereas many of the actions are dreadful and personal, Mr. Schiller counterbalanced civilized human emotions by means of presenting the unfeeling and businesslike approach of the Reich. I haven¿t read another book that discusses the executive procedures of the SS with such precision. Paul K. Harker¿s transcription and translations make this a smooth read. The investigate research of Mr. Easley and Mr. Hart lend exceptional and verifiable credibility to this work. A large amount of information about the holocaust has been placed squarely on the shoulders of famous Nazi personalities. The author explicitly declares his status as a criminal but Directive 19 furthermore rightly indicts the industrialists, laborers, clergy, financiers, and domestic as well as foreign politicians for the holocaust. There is no denial or supplication for accountability made by the author. He accepted his responsibility for his part in the holocaust. Now it¿s time for others to accept theirs. The author was one of many who were assigned tasks in the destruction of human beings. In spite of the personal misfortunes he wrote of (losing his brothers in the war and his family to air raids) I couldn¿t sympathize or emote for a man whose job it was to liquidate thousands of people. There¿s an interesting and noticeable psychosomatic shift and gradation within Mr. Schiller¿s personality throughout the book. Whether this is hindsight on behalf of the author or a capture of how he progressed at the time is hard to tell. This book is truly a goldmine of personal inside information about the Reich. It also provides data and clarity to many unanswered questions and presents subjects for consideration and study that have so far been overlooked. Read Directive 19 if you wish to understand how six million people were destroyed under Nazi rule.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not for the squeamish. I found it to be a comprehensive study of the indoctrination and propaganda that propelled the Nazi regime. I was given this book as a gift and at first thought, oh well - another book about the holocaust. I was wrong. The first few chapters made me put the book down and walk away from it several times because of the frank brutality that is told with such apathy. But that is what kept me coming back to it. I was intrigued by the author's personal, psychological, political and social opinions. Most of us know about the men in charge of the holocaust but Directive 19 gives you the perspective of a henchman in the field who carried out the orders. The author also admits his part in issuing orders and makes no attempt to shield himself from complicity. This book didn't really help me understand 'why' the holocaust happened but it certainly explained 'how' it happened from a very blunt and clinical viewpoint. Directive 19 gives the reader a seat at Nazi RSHA meetings, makes him a bystander during conversations with the industrialists who provided the machines and buildings for the holocaust, takes him into combat campaigns on both fronts, leads him to outlying villages to conduct arbitrary liquidations, and escorts him to the scientific laboratories and gas chambers of the concentration camps to witness Nazi depravity through the author's eyes. Some may argue this book is a compendium of horror. Perhaps it is but so was the holocaust itself. It is the first truthful account I have read from a former Nazi officer. There is no whitewash, disguising or downplaying of the facts. Read Directive 19.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not just another book about the Holocaust. Directive 19 is an immersing look into Nazi deviance and power. It is the first book I have read about this topic that explains the administrative workings of the departments in charge of the Holocaust. I was a bit dismayed that the author identified the reasons for the Holocaust on only a surface level and did not fully explain the impact each had on the Reich's decision to enact the Final Solution. Despite this, I have never read a more detailed account of the administrative mechancics behind the systematic slaughter of millions of people. The book addresses the many dynamics of the Nazi government and is not restricted to (though it is mainly centered around) the Holocaust. The author candidly relates his duties as an SS Chief of Police and Security and coherently discusses his dealings with partisans, various citizenry, and enemy armies. I found an astonishing duality with the author's personal opinions versus Reich policy. Directive 19 is well written and the author possessed a gift for description. His accounts of various battles and especially his recollections of leaving the Stalingrad Pocket are superb. His frank recounting of personal interactions with the likes of Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Adolf Eichmann, Amon Goeth and Franz Novack provide valuable insight into the complexity of the various personalities that surrounded and influenced him. I would have liked certain topics to have been discussed in more detail and explained, but Directive 19 held my attention from start to finish.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Foreword of this book compelled me to read it. The text reflects the imposing intelligence quotient of the author and demonstrates the great strides taken by the Nazi Party to enact its abominable plans. Rolf Schiller bluntly discusses the social, economic, political, and public reasons for the Holocaust and tells us how the Nazis achieved this goal with the assistance of industrialists, foreign diplomats, labor leaders, and the church. If you have ever asked how the Holocaust could have happened, Sturmbannfuhrer Rolf Schiller will tell you in this book. People with a propensity for Holocaust Denial should especially read this book as it will leave no doubt that the extermination of Jews not only happened but was organized and planned with the most exiguous details accounted for. Do not let the subtitle of this book deceive you. Though listed as a memoir the transcriber did an excellent job of making this a seamless and easily readable book. The rich imagery and descriptions placed me in the center of the text. I was floored by the author's accounts throughout this book. I was astonished by the author's normalcy and spellbound by his loyal and stoic declension into performing some of the most heinous acts I have ever heard of. This book presents the Nazi fundamentals and principles for the Holocaust in ways I never thought of, realized or dreamed possible. The author openly admits his criminality. His memoirs do not attempt to justify or excuse the Holocaust. I recommend this book to anyone attempting to understand both sides of this disturbing historical era.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Schiller¿s accounts are disturbing on many levels: His inhumane, abject, and hateful thoughts, beliefs, remarks, and deeds are clear and uncensored. The brutality with which the Reich operated was fueled by their belief that they were within their rights to not only rid Europe of the Jewish population, but to also act as the judicial arm of all they surveyed and conquered to achieve this end. They invented laws to suit their elitist scheme, propagated terror with dearth, aphorisms, curfews, beatings, humiliation, and murder. To know of such atrocities is onerous, to read a first-person accounting of barbarous, sickening acts against another human being is heart-rending. Mr. Schiller does not ask for sympathy (though his own personal tragedies are mentioned), nor does he excuse the slaughter. He recounts the war with all its horror from the remarkable perspective of a then young man advancing in the ranks of the Waffen SS--guided by his rigid loyalty and honor to the Fatherland, and his naïve belief that his comrades felt the same duty. Worse than apathetic response to human suffering, his (and the Reich¿s) was self-righteously justified extermination. Though Mr. Schiller explains that the Reich was not a band of sadists, who could agree with him? Schadenfreude. I found it curious that Mr. Schiller referred to certain actions from the enemy as acts of cowardice and as dishonorable yet, leading men, women, and children to chambers for ¿Special Treatment¿ (and other innoxious terms for killing) was not¿in his estimation. Mr. Harker has plainly conveyed a memoir without political correctness or fluff. Its honesty made it a page-turner. There were passages I had to read twice because I could not believe what I had just read. I was amazed and pleased with his frankness. Reading this book will anger you. Read it anyway.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Countless books exist on the topic of the Holocaust but Mr. Schiller's memoirs are in a class of their own. At first I thought the grisly details in this book might have been intended for shock value but after giving it a chance, the gruesome details are necessary to explain the brutality of the Third Reich and its plans for the total destruction of European Jews. My personal knowledge and previous independent research on this topic validates many of the subjects covered in this book. However, Directive 19 articulately fills in many missing pieces that can't be found in research but can only be known and told by a person who witnessed this dark era of history. Directive 19 deserves its own place in the book collections of World War II enthusiasts and Holocaust scholars. Mr. Rolf Schiller and Mr. Harker have done an exceptional job at bringing a controversial viewpoint to the forefront.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Superb account written from the unique perspective of a former SS Major and detailing the progression of the Holocaust. This book offers personal and explicit insight into the Nazi menace behind the concentration camps.