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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting in a Strangely Low-Key Sort of Way
This is much more of an exercise in discussing the logistics of setting up and running Auschwitz and other camps than giving any gory details of what went on. If you took the camps out of the equation, you would simply think you were reading a discussion on building a large-scale enterprise with a shortage of resources, poor planning and the usual personnel problems that...
Published on 27 Jun 2009 by E. Smith

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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book details how an ordinary man can excuse his own....
Rudolf Hoess details in this book much which has little to do with the title subject matter. Although a morbidly fascinating read, he talks hardly at all of the disgusting realities which he was responsible for. Moreover he talks at length about how he came to be commandant, and the logistical difficulties he faced in implementing his horrific task. Throughout the book...
Published on 15 April 2001 by Paul A Bradley


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone with an interest in WW2 and Auschwitz, 15 July 2012
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This review is from: Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) (Paperback)
I read some reviews on this book and decided to buy it. The book is a very good account of Auschwitz by the man who ran it, Rudolf Hoess. The autobiography is a very graphic account of life in concentrations and gives a very in depth account of how Hoess rose from the smaller camps and on to become the Commandant of the biggest killing factory in history. The way he explains and gives examples of all the many sorts of camps and prisoners, gives a real insight in to the mind of the man behind it. I could not put this book down and would highly recommend it to any one with even a smidgen of interest in the war and Auschwitz.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COMMANDANT OF AUSCHWITZ, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) (Paperback)
This book gives such an insight into the machinations of running a camp such as Aushwitz. Rudolf Hoess writes eloquently enough to take the reader away from what he is actually talking about. It is only when you listen to the actual horrors that were taking place does the reader then realise that Hoess is completely detatched from what he is doing. I have read the book Auschwitz and wanted to know more about the people who actually ran the camp and this book fulfilled that requirement. It is a'can't put down book' due to it's complete and utterly distrssing account of how millions of innocent people were casually put to death on a daily basis. In the book Hoess referes to these poor souls as prisoners. Why were they prisoners? What happened to Hoess's family? It left me with questions which I would have wanted answers to. It is a book which I am so glad I managed to find if only because it allowed me such an insight into the mind of a man who obeyed orders to highest degree.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars commandant of auschwitz, 13 July 2011
This review is from: Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) (Paperback)
A fascinating book and a must read for those who might try to get their heads around what makes people like Hoess tick. This book portrays some one who is merciless,displays no attonement, shoulders little or any blame, contradicts his own words by his actions and is self righteous. If you are reasonably well read on this subject then this book is a must.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sickening yet fascinating, 19 May 2011
By 
John B (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) (Paperback)
A book full of Evil.Hoess comes across as not the brightest person ever to walk this earth. Spends most of the book trying to justify his actions and bemoan the fact that if he could have been better supplied he could have god forbid been much more efficient. His constant defence being that he was only following orders becomes tiresome as is his defence regarding his treatment of all detained. He lies when it comes to factual issues that can be researched. Recommend this book although as others have already said there are much better reads with regards to Auschwitz.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars auschwitz, 15 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) (Paperback)
not very well written but a good read, i like it how he trys to justify the evil that he was incharge of.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great book, a chance to get into the mind of a Nazi....., 16 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) (Paperback)
This is a truly great book, if not shocking at times. The fact that he still doesnt see any wrong in what the Nazis did is a little bit disturbing however that aside, this is a helpful book for anyone who wishes to know exactly how the Nazis felt and thought during this period in history.
Would highly recommend!!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling, 23 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) (Paperback)
This book was a chilling read. I definitely recommend it to anyone with an interest in WWII or even just politics. Not an easy read but worth it
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The autobiography of a mass murderer trying to blame everyone else for what her did., 9 April 2009
By 
Geoffrey Stephen Grant "madcopper" (swansea, wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) (Paperback)
This book does nothing other than confirm in Hoess' own words that the Nazis did undertake the biggest mass extermination of people they considered inferior. Hoess at every oportunity he gets, attempts to blame all others for his actions and the crimes committed at the camp that he build and so clearly cherished as he wrote "Unknowingly I was a cog in the wheel of the great extermination machine created by the Third Reich".
Hoess even had the gaul to comment that he believed that he treated all prisoners well "...I have sufficently explained how the horrors of the concentration camps could come about. I for my part never sanctioned them. I myself never maltreated a prisoner, far less killed one. Nor have I ever tolerated maltreatment by my subordinates" - obviously didn't apply to the 1.4 million innocent people murdered whilst in his care!!
This is at best a crude and final attempt to make people think he was only following orders, the reason for which I can only assume was to prevent his own appointment with death at the Auschwitz 1 camp, a camp he created and ploughed his working heart and soul into.

The most frightening thing about this autobiography is that the monster came from a Strong Catholic back ground, was a god fearing person and never showed any signs of the murderous person that he was to become. He was just an ordinary person who designed, created and ran the most murderous, evil place on the face of this planet.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, 13 Mar 2009
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) (Paperback)
This is an invaluable yet offensive book.

It is the short autobiography written by Rudolf Hoess the one time commandant of Auschwitz. It is a harrowing account of how a simple man created a system of mass extermination of human life at his camp and how he helped streamline this process with his cunning ideas and planning.

However, Rudolf Hoess wrote this book in prison at the end of the War when he was in Allied Custody, so it is essential that you keep this in mind when reading. Whether this is a true and accurate description of his thoughts and feelings of the mass exterminations at Auschwitz or an attempt to diminish his role/responsibility in the matter we will never know.

One theme that constantly reoccurs throughout the book is that of `only following orders' it is scary to pause a moment and contemplate just how far an individual will go in the name of `following orders'.

Rudolf Hoess states that he believes the killings were a mistake. Not because of any emotional, ethical or conscientious factors but because the exterminations will help Jews to achieve "their ultimate aim" - world domination.

The book is highly emotional, offensive to decent human nature, very traumatic and will leave you feeling angry. The descriptions of women and children being led and placed into the gas chambers was deeply upsetting. Yet it is essential reading, people need to read this book because it is unique.

This book has to be read so that we are aware of what human beings can do to each other and to help prevent this awful crime from happening again.
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34 of 81 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Forced Confessions, 25 July 2001
This review is from: Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) (Paperback)
One should always be wary of forced confessions and this applies to a forced autobiography. Would we lend credit to the confessions of prisoners of the NKVD, KGB or more laterly the U.S prisoners of the North Vietnamese ? Why should we believe the veracity of this book, merely because the Allies won the war and therefore decided to write the history and the Allies were the "good guys".
There has been much condemnation of the Nuremburg process even by Allied participants who were shocked at the brutality handed out to the prisoners to extract confessions of guilt. Hoess was no exception to this and there are numerous glaring falsehoods in this book. The claim that Himmler visited Auschwitz to observe a gassing in progress is now accepted by reputable historians as a falsehood and Hoess was repeating what his captors wanted to say. There is also the very interesting fact that his confession was written in his own hand in English, from a man who could not understand English !!!
Therefore whilst it has some merit this book should be treated with a great deal of suspicion and readers would be better served to read more contemporary titles less tainted with the needs of wartime propaganda.
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Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945)
Commandant Of Auschwitz (Age of Dictators 1920-1945) by Rudolf Hoess (Paperback - 6 April 2000)
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