Monday, May 15, 2017

Book review: "Hanns and Rudolf: The True Story of the German Jew Who Tracked Down and Caught the German Kommandant of Auschwitz" by Thomas Harding

I had high hopes for this book because it's my favorite when Nazis get what is coming to them. But this book just kind of fell flat for me. The book ping ponfed between the lives of Rudolf Hoss (pretend there's an umlut over the o) the man who would grow up to become the Kommandant of Aushwitz and and a German Hew named Hanns Alexander who lived a pretty upper crust life until he had to flee Germany, and then joined the British Army, and then eventually went rogue to find Hoss.

Considering the subject matter I just kind of felt bored with the story. But there were a few thing of interest:

- I thought it was interesting to hear about how Hoss ended up running Auschwitz and all of the Nazi bureaucracy and posturing among people. They had people coming through all of the time to talk about how they could be at maximum efficiency, like they were producing cardboard boxes instead of killing people.

-The Alexander family had a lot of money and it made their story have much happier endings then the people who didn't have the means to get their whole family out of the country. 

-The epilogue shouldn't be skipped

-"The Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps had been make use of men who were refugees from Germany and elsewhere who waned to fight Hitler. For these men, the stakes were high. If caught by the Reich they would be viewed as traitors and shot. Yet of the more than 70,000 German and Austrian refugees who landed in Britain between 1933 and 1939 approximately 1 in 7 enlisted in the Pioneers".

All in all I give this book a 3 out of 5.


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