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on 8 May 2005
This relatively short book contains few of the harrowing personal accounts of survival in Auschwitz that many other books on the subject concentrate on. Instead the author focusses on the history of the town of Auschwitz, the reasons for its selection as a camp, and the construction, with the enthusiastic participation of German industy, of initially a forced labour camp and with the expansion of Birkenau of an industrialised extermination centre.
The writing style is factual and restrained and manages to be more powerful and condemning as a result.
This is a short, but excellent book that I would thoroughly recommend. For those seeking something with a more vivid personal account, then look no further than Primo Levi.
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on 27 August 2010
This small yet fascinating book is a short account of the history of the town of Auschwitz or Oswiecim and its subsequent concentration/extermination camps.

The book begins by describing how various ethnic groups have emigrated to the town over centuries and how different countries/empires have governed Auschwitz at various key moments in its history. The book then moves on to describe how the concentration camp first came into being before being adapted into an extermination centre. The book concludes with a brief discussion on the punishments received by some of the infamous and lesser well known camp officials, before culminating with a brief look at some of those who seek to deny or play-down the horrific events which occurred at Auschwitz.

Whilst short, I recommend this book to those who study the Holocaust. It did contain a lot of information which I have previously read in other books concerning Auschwitz, but at the same time there were numerous facts which I wouldn't have discovered had I not read this book.

Highly recommended and informative reading.
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on 6 July 2012
Having been to Auschwitz recently, I was particularly interested to hear about how the Nazi camp came about and also the earlier history of the place which because of the camp museum there, one doesn't normally consider much. A good read though necessarily harrowing in parts but sensitively considered.Auschwitz: A History
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Quite a short book but informative all the same. It details the creation and organisation of Auschwitz in a clear and concise manner. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about the holocaust and the role played by concentration camps in the Nazi ideology.
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on 18 May 2013
I am only half way through this book but I am completely blow away by it's content. I have read a lot of books on Auschwitz the camp and what happened inside it but this is a first for me on about life on the outside. Sybile does not hold back on what she has put on paper. What comes to mind about this book is the saying "for evil to suceed is for a few good men to do nothing"
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on 4 March 2016
This is one of my favourites books about Auschwitz. I bought it firstly in the Jew Museum in Krakow after having visited Auschwitz and recently I ordered it online for a present. It's easy to read, very factual, with precise and accurate details, very informative, despite being quite short. I do recommend it if you want to know more facts about what happened there.
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on 27 March 2016
Auschwitz: A History. A concise and accurate account of the Auschwitz camp(s) and the inhumane treatment metered out by the evil regime that operated them. Having visited the sites in January 2016, this book fairly describes all that was carried out there and what remains as a permanent reminder of mans inhumanity to man that must never be allowed to occur again.
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on 27 August 2014
Comprehensive, interesting, well-researched and factual. In a potentially highly emotional field, Steinbacher remained a dispassionate historian and allowed the facts to speak for themselves.
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on 26 December 2013
A sound historical document of what man's capable of doing. An era of our history that should never be forgotten.
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on 12 January 2015
hard to read thought provoking.
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