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Auschwitz : The Nazis & The 'Final Solution' Paperback – 1 Sep 2005

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Auschwitz : The Nazis & The 'Final Solution' + Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chamber + Forgotten Voices of The Holocaust: True Stories of Survival From Men, Women and Children Who Were There
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; New Ed edition (1 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563522968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563522966
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurence Rees has won the British Book Award for History Book of the Year 2006 for his international bestseller Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution'. His career as a writer and filmmaker, focusing on the Nazis and World War II, stretches back nearly 20 years and includes the acclaimed television series Nazis: A Warning from History, War of the Century, Horror in the East and, most recently, Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution'. The body of work has won him a myriad of awards including a BAFTA. a Grierson Award and an international Documentary Award. He was educated at Solihull School and Oxford University and is Creative Director of BBC TV History programmes.

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Review

"Thank God that occasionally books of the stature of Laurence Rees's superb Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution are published... Fascinating." (Andrew Roberts Evening Standard)

"Excellent" (Boyd Tonkin The Independent)

"A key to understanding man's inhumanity to man" (Ian Thomson The Guardian)

"Well-written with striking testimonies from bystanders, perpetrators and victims. The interviews with SS men, and sundry European Fascists, are genuinely revealing, and must have been exceptionally difficult to negotiate" (Michael Burleigh Daily Telegraph)

"Devastating. Rees's research is impeccable and intrepid. Ultimately he does at the gut level what Hannah Arendt achieved some 40 years ago at the level of philosophy: he forces the reader to shift the Holocaust out of the realm of nightmare or Gothic horror and acknowledge it as something all too human. Scrupulous and honest, this book is utterly without illusions" (David Von Drehle Washington Post, USA)

Book Description

The definitive history of Auschwitz

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By "mynamesstevewhite" on 3 Mar. 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Auschwitz, The Nazi's and the Final Solution" is the most informative and reliable book I have read on Auschwitz, giving detailed accounts of what "life" was like in the camp, how they were transported there and interviews with both SS guards and surviving victims. It's ironic how the majority of the SS guards still feel that it was right what they did because they were totally behind it yet they claim to only be involved because they were made to follow orders.
This book excels when reading interviews from the survivors because it is there that we are able to discover the real horrors and read about some of the atrocities that went on inside which leave a profound sadnes of the reader. What's so bad is that this was able to happen and the fact that it is not that long ago, many people have had this happen in their lifetime. Luckily there are not just horror stories in the book and there is a lot of detail on transportation and relations between countries. There are many figures available although they may not be totally accurate because of the nature of the event.
Buy this book if you are wanting to find out about the camp, the Holocaust, the human mind and what drives us to evil and some opinions from people who were actually there. Well done to Laurence Rees on this spectacular, obsessive read!
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 11 Feb. 2005
Format: Hardcover
The book which parallels the BBC television series on Auschwitz ... and one which can most effectively be read in conjunction with a viewing of the series (either on television or DVD). The BBC has developed considerable skill in combining scholarly but accessible written and visual history, and this is no exception.
For the most part, Rees' book is highly accessible, especially given the emotional volatility of his subject matter. He achieves a laudable degree of balance and objectivity, avoiding the urge to be judgemental. Present the facts - the reader is well capable of making his/her own judgement.
The central theme is that Auschwitz was not simply a death camp. It was conceived as an industrial complex, as a profit-making concern which would wring the maximum work from a force of slave labourers. German industry profited from it ... and, in due course, the complex that was Auschwitz would be run on industrial principles as its managers created a production line of death.
Mass murder, here, was a process. Over a million would be murdered in Auschwitz, but the thousands of people who contributed to its operation were, for the main, 'ordinary' people. The writer Hannah Arendt commented that she attended the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the German officer in charge of the final solution: she had expected to look into the face of evil; instead, she found herself facing an innocuous, petty bourgeois, bald, insignificant old man, devoutly sticking to the mantra that he had only been following orders and couldn't be held responsible. [ See Hannah Arendt, "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil".
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By O. Doyle on 8 Nov. 2005
Format: Hardcover
For me the name Auschwitz conjures up images of torture, human suffering and horror quicker than any other word in the dictionary. It is probably the most famous 'facility' of the Second World War and this book gives an indept look at how Auschwitz came about and its part in 'The Final Solution'. Beginning in 1942, the camp became the site of the greatest mass murder in the history of humanity and the most disturbing aspect of the entire book is the attitude of those in charge who never showed any remorse for their actions.
This is a book which should be read by everyone in the hope that such a travesty should never happen again.
I gave the book 4 stars because I found the editing of the book infuriating.....some sentences were repeated, some finished mid-sentence. Not many.....but enough to annoy me! Don't let this stop you buying it though!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
When one thinks of the labor and death camps instituted by the Nazis during World War II, the notorious concentration camp at Auschwitz comes immediately to mind. One cannot help but wonder what kind of mindset would devise such an infamy. How could Germany, a nation that was noted for its richness of culture, have devised a plan of genocide that was so far reaching and so inherently evil?

The author attempts to answer that question and succeeds in doing so brilliantly. This is a very well-written book that will appeal to those who are interested in the general human condition, as well as those interested in the holocaust itself. It is scholarly, yet, at the same time, immensely readable. This is because the author has put a very human face on the dreaded death camp of Auschwitz. The stories and experiences of more than a hundred people are integrated throughout the narrative, which delves into the historical backdrop of the Nazi political machinery and its leadership. Survivors of Auschwitz, as well as Nazi perpetrators, tell of their experiences in the hell that was known as Auschwitz, and they tell it from their own unique perspectives. The symbiosis that often existed between prisoner and prison guard is quite unsettling, as are the attendant moral and ethical issues.

The author attempts to help the reader understand how it was that the "final solution" came about. It is an unsentimental, intellectually objective, critical analysis of one of the most infamous episodes in modern history and warfare. The author carefully delineates how the Nazis developed their reprehensible strategy for global genocide, and how it came about being implemented.
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