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Against the Apocalypse: Responses to Catastrophe in Modern Jewish Culture (Religion, Theology, and the Holocaust) Hardcover – 30 Nov 1999

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
In depth thoughts of Dr. Wilhelm Muench 15 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was thrilled upon finding this book at Amazon.com. I had seen Dr. Muench in several documentaries and knew he was an important figure in the Auschwitz SS medical heirarchy. He refused to take part in selections and manipulated the circumstances to save countless lives as best he could. I always wished he had written a book about his experiences but alas he did not.I read this with rapt fascination. He talks about how hard it was in Auschwitz. He relates seeing a selection one time and how heartrending it was and how another time he saw the preparations and actual preparation for the outdoor cremations of the Hungarian Jews in 1944. He says how disgusted he was with this.He also puts the perpetrators in three categories: those with unquestioning obedience, the SS elite, and then the ones who acted out of pure conviction and thought the Final Solution was a duty to Germany. Surprisingly, Muench relates how he had the most interesting conversations with the third category. Mengele falls into this description of Muench's. I found that Muench was not the saint he claimed to be though after reading this. He does indeed admit the ways and means used for extermination but he never calls it a terrible event and then abjectly tries to put the perpetrators in three categories. He can't seem to admit that they were all equally guilty. He even fails to admit his own guilt...of staying on in Auschwitz when he knew firsthand how horrible it was and that it was indeed macabre and inhumane.I found I have even less respect for Muench than I did before.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ugly Business 10 Oct. 2002
By Mr. Stephen H. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Meeting is essentially a dialog between a Nazi death camp survivor and an SS doctor posted to work at the same camp during WWII.
It is a litany of smoke and mirrors, obfuscation and deceit - perhaps even self-deceit - from the doctor who went on to practice medicine in Germany undisturbed until his retirement a few years ago. He is cold, pedantic, condescending, arrogant, maddening. His interviewer, a woman who ( according to the book ) ran a kiosk selling newspapers and knick knacks for most of her life, is a devastating and relentless questioner. My only complaint about the book is the translation which seems stilted and often tortured. Nevertheless, you come to end of the account outraged how this man ( and so many others ) got off scot free having perpetrated hideous crimes. This, of course, leads the reader to think hard about the quality of justice, power, evil and the nature of the existence of God, if any.
An excellent interview 20 Jan. 2013
By Henry Czerniak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Must read for every person on earth.
The book is a contribution to humanity. After so much that has been written on the genocide in WWII, this interview has much to add.
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