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Auschwitz Hardcover – 5 Apr 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.; 01 edition (5 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810948311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810948310
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 1 x 31.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 801,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Mar. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Obviously the shadow of Art Spiegelman's acclaimed Maus books fall long over any graphic story relating the Holocaust. Fortunately Croci's oversized book takes a very different visual approach, using grim pencil illustrations toned with gray watercolor washes to create an oppressively bleak monochrome world. The story is about a couple who manage to survive internment at Auschwitz-Birkenau, but not without losing their daughter. Their straightforward tale takes the form of a lengthy flashback bookended by their plight somewhere in former Yugoslavia, circa 1993. (This tie to present-day ethnic cleansing, while admirable in spirit, feels a forced and awkward.) Faced with imminent discovery and execution by unnamed forces, the couple recounts to each other their experience at Auschwitz. Their memories share the nightmarish brutality of all Holocaust survivor stories, and Croci's expressionist-influenced and heavily researched artwork brings it all to awful life. From the gaunt forms of the inmates to the hooded dark eyes of the camp guards and officers, there is no humor, no respite, none of the ridiculous "Life is Beautiful" hope, just the haunted, bitter resignation of captured prey. At the back of the book, Croci discusses his obvious influences (Lanzmann's Shoah documentary, Spielberg's film Schindler's List, and Bernadac's book The Naked Mannequins) as well as how his own interviews with survivors shaped the work. The ultimate tone of the book can perhaps best be captured in his statement "Nazi violence is beyond forgiveness." There are a few missteps, such as the lifting of an incident from Schindler's List, and the rather strange misspelling of Mengele, but on the whole it does what all Holocaust literature ought to: horrify.
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Format: Hardcover
What a shame. I bought this book on the strength of the cover. Artistically, it is hard to be disappointed. The drawing is top quality, and in spite of the simple black and white depictions, the characters are truly expressive, particularly the nazi soldiers.

Unfortunately, the story is done and dusted too soon, which in some sort of way says a lot about the work, you just want it to carry on for longer, it's that good. Clearly, Spiegelman's Maus looms in the background, and what Aushwitz lacks in depth and first hand experience relative to Maus, it compensates on the chilling artwork and depiction of the gas chambers.

The extra interview with the author at the end is a very nice complementary addition to the book. Upon finishing Aushwitz, I went straight to the internet to learn more about it, so I guess it fulfilled its objective. I look forward to new stuff from Monsieur Croci.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Striking visuals undermined by arrogance and clumsy text 2 Mar. 2009
By Lisa G. Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Auschwitz the graphic novel is visually stunning. The text, on the other hand, reads like "Holocaust 101" as characters exposit the inner working of the camp to each other. This isn't a story about real people, it's an illustrated textbook in which puppets explain tidbits of research.

The second problem is the lack of research. The author lists Schindler's List as a source. Really? Schindler</>, while powerful, is a fictionalized version of a biography. It's not a primary source and should never be treated as one.

This brings me to the author's attitude toward his actual primary sources. One of them explained to the author that the hats he had drawn for the inmates were wrong, and asked them to be corrected. The author's explanation is that the real hats looked dumb, and he doesn't understand why the hats matter anyway. IT ALL MATTERS. Either you care about accuracy, or you don't. Someone who changes a detail as pervasive in the story as the clothing the inmates are wearing, purely for aesthetics, particularly when he has primary sources asking him to fix it, clearly doesn't care about accuracy.

Great visuals, bad storytelling, bad scholarship.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Apocalypse Then 3 Mar. 2006
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Obviously the shadow of Art Spiegelman's acclaimed Maus books fall long over any graphic story relating the Holocaust. Fortunately Croci's oversized book takes a very different visual approach, using grim pencil illustrations toned with gray watercolor washes to create an oppressively bleak monochrome world. The story is about a couple who manage to survive internment at Auschwitz-Birkenau, but not without losing their daughter. Their straightforward tale takes the form of a lengthy flashback bookended by their plight somewhere in former Yugoslavia, circa 1993. (This tie to present-day ethnic cleansing, while admirable in spirit, feels a forced and awkward.) Faced with imminent discovery and execution by unnamed forces, the couple recounts to each other their experience at Auschwitz. Their memories share the nightmarish brutality of all Holocaust survivor stories, and Croci's expressionist-influenced and heavily researched artwork brings it all to awful life. From the gaunt forms of the inmates to the hooded dark eyes of the camp guards and officers, there is no humor, no respite, none of the ridiculous "Life is Beautiful" hope, just the haunted, bitter resignation of captured prey. At the back of the book, Croci discusses his obvious influences (Lanzmann's Shoah documentary, Spielberg's film Schindler's List, and Bernadac's book The Naked Mannequins) as well as how his own interviews with survivors shaped the work. The ultimate tone of the book can perhaps best be captured in his statement "Nazi violence is beyond forgiveness." There are a few missteps, such as the lifting of an incident from Schindler's List, and the rather strange misspelling of Mengele, but on the whole it does what all Holocaust literature ought to: horrify.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark look at an even darker time 10 Feb. 2005
By Shane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been looking for good graphic novels about the Holocaust ever since I read Maus and Maus II back in 6th grade. I'm a college sophomore now, and happened upon Croci's book in our university library.

This book is very disturbing, and thus very powerful. Croci's people, Jews and Germans, are drawn in a wide-eyed, ghoulish manner. No one smiles. Still, there is beauty to be found in the figures and faces he creates. He cites inspiration from the film "Schindler's List," but it only seems to exist in the black and white of his work. The sense of hope in Spielberg's film, of one man's humanity, is no where to be found.

I did not find this to be as engaging as Maus of "Schindler" because none of the characters are given a personality. Stepping back, it makes sense (even more so when you read Croci's extensive interview in the back). He has stripped every person down to the fragments that are left when your only thought is of survival. This does not make the story very engaging--rather you find yourself turning page after page to see what atrocity lies next.

That said, I still reccommend this book. It's something you will want to discuss after you read it. It's art is as powerful as the photos we have of this terrible place. Of note is the gas chamber sequence, unveiled by a mist of poison when the Jew workers open the doors to burn the bodies. It's consistently dark, inhuman tone is perhaps a more accurate vision of the Holocaust than the humanity presented by Spielberg. It's not a read you'll soon forget.

I would also reccommend this as a book for children 10 and up, because it is VERY disturbing at times and seems more written for adults. You know your child better than anyone else, so flip through and make your own judgment first. I for one will not get that gas chamber image out of my head for a long time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Haunting 10 Feb. 2008
By S. Parker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
it's a beautiful book,if you can call something like what happened at auschwitz anything but horrendous; sad and lingering. the graphics are drawn so startlingly they stay with you.
2.0 out of 5 stars Because although it's a great movie, it's just that 15 April 2015
By Katie McGinnis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Oh God the inaccuracies.

You can't just watch "Schindler's List" and use that as your historical research basis. You just can't. Because although it's a great movie, it's just that, *a movie.*

Jarringly notable things I noticed were incorrect uniforms for both the guards/the prisoners and the inaccurate attribution of a photograph from the Babi Yar massacre to something that happened in Auschwitz. Seriously?

I'd also like to point out that in the entire history of the camp, there's only one documented occurrence of someone surviving the gas chambers. And they were shot shortly after. This book seems to be under the impression having a few people survive each gassing was business as usual.

I understand the artist/writer is under the impression this is his own artistic piece and accuracy doesn't matter as much as appeal/beauty/service to the plot, but it does when you pick such a sensitive subject under the guise of being accurate.

Also: melodrama galore. I never thought it'd even be possible to make a story about Auschwitz melodramatic, but here it is. It's clear this guy didn't have an editor.
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