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Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp Paperback – 22 Apr 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; New edition edition (22 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 025320884X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253208842
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 265,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"This learned volume is about as chilling as historiography gets." - Walter Laqueur, The New Republic " ... a one-volume study of Auschwitz without peer in Holocaust literature." - Kirkus Reviews " ... a comprehensive portrait of the largest and most lethal of the Nazi death camps ... serves as a vital contribution to Holocaust studies and a bulwark against forgetting."- Publishers Weekly

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In the years since the Second World War, the name Auschwitz has become virtually synonymous with the unrestrained tyranny, the power of terror, and the systematic murder of millions of human beings during German Nazi rule. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 April 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book takes the reader through conception to reality of the Auschwitz & Brikenau Concentration Camps. Each of the Chapters are written by different Authors, who have a detailled knowledge of that particular issue - for example, there is one Chapter solely dedicated to the Crematoria - who built them, how much they cost, and the minute details of "burn rates". Through the various Chapters, the reader becomes intimate with the various different aspects of what life was like for those who experienced this Hell, and also from the perspective of those who perpetrated this horror. The book also covers the great efforts that were taken to disguise the terrible crimes that took place here, from the destruction of the Gas Chambers & Crematoria, and also why the Allies did nothing to stop the genocide. Having started to read the book before actually visiting Aushwitz & Birkenau, and finished it upon return, one can recommend this book as the definitive text on what Aushwitz Birkenau. However, as with any book, the full horror of what actually happened can only be truly appreciated by visitng the Camps themselves. It has been said that for an individual to be ignorant of the past, is tantamount for humanity to be scared of its future is terrifyingly true.This book stands as a crystal clear view of the past crimes that mankind is capable of, and makes the individual appreciate that freedom is precious, and needs to be treasured.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By on 31 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a very impressive book, strictly for the serious researcher of any matters concerning the Holocaust. It is best treated as a reference book, but should be gone through carefully so that one knows what it carries and what is emphasized in its respective chapters. Above all it contains in its pages more than sufficient material of the most thoroughly objective nature one could ask for, to provide informed answers to confront or educate the massive ignorance which still holds sway to this day. One cannot emphasize enough the importance of having texts such as Mr. Gutman's book for backup, all the more so when one considers that its perhaps central piece, drawn from direct, on-location research by a former "Auschwitz-doubter" who went there to prove conclusively that it was all a fabrication and discovered that in fact such fabrication or exaggeration was in no sense or degree the case, gives the reader ample and final explanation of not only what, where and by whom, but how and how many. What should also become clear for the reader is that none of this bore any relation to "war" - although such a false notion is often used to relativize the camps system and the entire Holocaust itself. War had nothing to do with it. War was almost secondary to the annihilation of Europe's Jews (and Gypsies) but provided its best cover, often rating a self-defeating logistical second place to the systematic and carefully coordinated murder of millions of defenseless civilians, down to the last infant. Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp is exactly that - an anatomy of the mechanics of evil, and as such an invaluable text.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very detailed book, probably too detailed in places. But it does give a full account of how Auschwitz came into being and how it was run and managed. I think it got bogged down in places with too much detail, especially about the technical aspects of the crematoria. However, if you want to learn about the human tragedy then this is a well written book. I am using it as research for a trip that I plan to make this year to Auschwitz.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Auschwitz laid bare. 13 Oct. 2000
By John Barry Kenyon - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There have, of course, been many studies of Auschwitz. However, this is far and away the most comprehensive to appear. The many contributors cover the historical, sociological and psychological aspects in rigorous and scholarly style. This reviewer would pick out as particularly insightful Aleksander Lasik's analysis of the SS at the camp,whose numbers grew steadily as the war progressed,and Nathan Cohen for a gripping account of the diaries of the Sonderkommando which were found near the crematoria at Birkenau. Since the book is over 600 pages of closely argued text, it is in effect a work of reference. Fortunately, the index appears to be very good and following up subjects or characters is not difficult. There are, incidentally, two themes not really tracked here: holocaust revisionism debates nor Auschwitz as portrayed in the mass media. The editors, no doubt sensibly, have instead revealed what made Auschwitz tick and how perpetrators and victims related to their gruesome environment.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By Luciano Lupini - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book contains several studies by different scholars, about the workings of the Auschwitz killing machine. Very well researched, it addresses different moral, legal, sociological and psychological issues about the people that worked (S.S. and Sonderkommando) and those who died in the camp. It also provides valuable insigths and enough documented information about Auschwitz's infrastructure, that clearly eliminates any possibility to deny the reality of this tragedy.
If you are a historian or a scholar of the Holocaust or the S.S, you should have this book in your library. If you are a Holocaust denier, you must read this book, with an open mind. Then, you will be able to perhaps move on, to deny Pol Pot's killing fields...
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Expectations can ignore reality 26 Sept. 2004
By The Professor Dave - Published on
Format: Paperback
Michael Ryan calls the book "cold". I have a large library of books on the Holocaust that look at through many eyes. Often the books by survivors are filled with emotion and facts as seen from a narrow view. A scientific study gives us the facts in as much detail as possible ON THE POINTS STUDIED. Read Hoess's autobiography for possibly the best understanding of the minds of many of the participants.

To Mr. Frantzman I would suggest that this book is 600 pages long, but certainly not ALL INCLUSIVE. I doubt that anyone could possibly write a single book (or a set within a rational time) that can deal "fairly" with every facit of the camp. My first book was the seminal "The Destruction of European Jewery" by Raul Hilberg who a few years ago I had a chance to meet and discuss issues. He said that it would take a library of books (which I have) to cover all the aspects of the Holocaust, and still we would only know ABOUT it. And he was right. I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN DETAIL--BUT DON'T TRULY UNDERSTAND HOW A NATION COULD DO SUCH A THING. Aways there are the "insane"--but a NATION? But what about Pol Pot, Africa, etc. Even many of those who survived (and I have known a number) cannot stretch their minds to understand. And some of my friends were in the first batch of American soldiers to enter a camp, and to their deaths they could still FEEL (and have nightmares about)it--but not understand how it could happen.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A. Moug - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent and detailed account of all aspects of the Auschwitz/Birkenau complex and its subcamps. The illustrations and pictures of the installations and camp add a new insight into the history and functioning of the camp and gives a different perspective on the technology and mindset that led to the mass murder and annihilation that took place there. As reader of holocaust literature for nearly 35 years, I consider this to be a definitive work on this subject.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Holecaust researchers should have this book 23 Jun. 2009
By Jerry G. Meents - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
More than two milliion poeple died in Auschwitz, 80% of them Jewish.
Principal sections in this book addres the history of this camp,the
perpetrators,the inmates,escapes and even underground resistance.
An excelend one-volume on the history of Auchwitz.
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