Rees, Laurence.


Rep., 2005. 320 pp., cold., + b&w photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. Published to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of Auschwitz, this is the definitive history of the most notorious Nazi institution of them all. We discover how Auschwitz evolved from a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners into the site of the largest mass murder in history – part death camp, part concentration camp, where around a million Jews were killed. The acclaimed author uses Auschwitz as a window through which to examine the Holocaust in its broader context. He argues that the camp played a vital role in the 'Final Solution'. Auschwitz examines the mentality and motivations of the key Nazi decision makers, and perpetrators of appalling crimes speak here for the first time about their actions. Fascinating and disturbing facts are uncovered as the book draws on intriguing new documentary material from recently opened Russian archives, which will challenge many previously accepted arguments. The author addresses uncomfortable questions, such as why so few countries under Nazi occupation protected their Jews and why the Allies did little directly to prevent the killing even after they knew about the existence of the camp.

Share this book