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Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers

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4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  3,600 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Filip Muller came to Auschwitz with one of the earliest transports from Slovakia in April 1942 and began working in the gassing installations and crematoria in May. He was still alive when the gassings ceased in November 1944. He saw millions come and disappear; by sheer luck he survived. Muller is neither a historian nor a psychologist; he is a source one of the few ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published August 24th 1999 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published January 1st 1979)
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Red Haircrow
Feb 18, 2011 Red Haircrow rated it it was amazing
I've visited Auschwitz. I've walked the stark grounds with a shaking feeling of anger too great to express at the sheer arrogant absurdity of it all. The practical idiotic mindset and machine which the Nazis created to perpetrate such unspeakable crimes, yet rather ordinary people allowed themselves to be manipulated into doing so and rationalized the acts. And then you have Filip, a prisoner, who with chained hands was forced to help turn the cogs for a time.

I've an extensive library of Holoca
...more
Anjali
Jul 03, 2007 Anjali rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, wwii, holocaust
I wouldn't say I enjoyed this book as such - I don't think one is supposed to say they enjoy reading this kind of thing - but this was a very insightful - and graphic - account of what life was like in the death camps of what the Nazi's dubbed 'The Final Solution'.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading about the Holocaust. In fact, I think everyone should read this so that this awful stain on human history is never forgotten and more so that this is never allowed to happe
...more
Kat
May 09, 2014 Kat rated it it was amazing
I’ve read many Holocaust memoirs, all of them terrible, heart-breaking and shocking in their own way, but Eyewitness Auschwitz stands out for several other reasons.

It is the story of Filip Muller, who spent more than two years in Auschwitz, and saw some of the worst things that human beings can do to each other – he worked in the gas chambers as a Sonderkommando – responsible for the cremation of thousands and thousands of his fellow Jews.

What makes Eyewitness Auschwitz particularly unique is Fi
...more
Lori Anderson
Jan 29, 2012 Lori Anderson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, wwii
I've mentioned this many times -- I like to read Holocaust and WWII memoirs because they show the beauty of man overcoming the ugly.

Well, this book is indeed about the ugly -- the ugliest I've ever read.

This is an unprecedented memoir of a man who ends up being a prisoner at Aushwitz as a crematorium worker. He managed to smuggle out plans of the crematoria and the camps and seeing them in detail is more than sobering. He also gives detailed, intense commentary on exactly what went on in selecti
...more
Grace
May 20, 2009 Grace rated it really liked it
Recommended to Grace by: Mandy Morrell
I liked this book as much as it is possible to like a book that centers around the mass extermination of an entire race of people. Filip Muller's memoir of his three year imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp recreates the vivid details of the life of a young man forced to assist in the mass murders of thousands of Jews in order to stay alive.

Muller works in the crematorium - picking up the clothes left behind by people who thought they were going to the showers, but were really going to th
...more
Amy
Sep 02, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing
This is not the most well-written WWII/Holocaust memoir, but it may be the most powerful. Its power lies in just how mundane Filip makes it all sound. Day after day after day of doing the same horrific thing - killing thousands of people, removing their hair, gold teeth and clothes, and incinerating them. He explains how the Nazis worked out the best ratio of corpses to feed into a stove at any one time, and how the crematory pits were designed to best use human fat as fuel..... Like it was all ...more
Cheri
Jul 08, 2011 Cheri rated it it was amazing
I haven't read this book in at least 10 years, but it has always stuck with me. I've recommended it to numerous people. I don't feel I can say too much here since it's been so long since I've read it, but I want to urge others to experience Filip Muller's story for themselves. It is a real eye opener. Although it will haunt you, I think it's important that the atrocities of the Nazi regime are not forgotten so they are not repeated.
Nat
Nov 26, 2010 Nat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-history
I was reading this on the train to work, and I had to snap the book shut because I very nearly just started crying at one part. It's hard to wrap your mind around the fact that this actually happened, that people could do this to another human being, that Filip survived and was able to pen this.

(Not so much 'loved it', but star rating relates to importance and relevance.)
Emma
May 06, 2010 Emma rated it really liked it
My dad and I share a huge interest in the Holocaust and world war two so I've read pretty much every book on it that I've been able to get my hands on.

This without a doubt is the most detailed and hard hitting one I have come across. It was so horrific that I had to stop reading several times because I became so distraught.

A very good read but an extrememly dark one.
Cynthia Southern
May 18, 2013 Cynthia Southern rated it it was amazing
Undeniably the best and first account of the experiences of a Sonderkommando in Auschwitz-Birkenau. His eyewitness account of history is extremely important. He was also interviewed in the Shoah tv documentary series.
Claudia Moscovici
Jul 24, 2014 Claudia Moscovici rated it it was amazing
The gas chambers: Filip Muller’s Eyewitness Auschwitz
Philip Muller’s Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1979) is one of the most disturbing and valuable books about the Holocaust I’ve read. This testimony offers in gruesome detail an eyewitness account of what actually happened in the gas chambers: from the moment hundreds of thousands of Auschwitz prisoners arrived hungry, thirsty and terrified on cattle trains; to the separation of families and the sel
...more
Victoria
Nov 01, 2016 Victoria rated it really liked it
This was an extremely harrowing, graphic, and detailed read written from the unique perspective of a former Sonderkommando prisoner at Auschwitz. Overall, I found it an interesting and engaging account, but admit that some parts felt a little dry (e.g. the exact measurements of the pits they dug). This book provides a deep, factual understanding of what life was like at Auschwitz, and it truly is an eye opening read.
Scott Head
Jul 26, 2016 Scott Head rated it it was amazing
“Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers” is a brutal and frank memoir from Sonderkommando survivor Filip Müller. This is a must-read exposition of evil. So unbelievable are the crimes of Auschwitz that many have called Müller’s book a fabrication. But all one must do is read the many other memoirs and accounts from the dozens of people who have written of their Auschwitz-Birkenau experience, and you can see clearly plenty of corroborating stories down to details that could be ...more
Bobbie  Crawford
Eyewitness Auschwitz,
Three Years in the Gas Chambers

Written By: Filip Muller
Published by Ivan R Dee, Chicago, 1st Ed. By this Publisher, Published in Association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1999, paperback, 180 pages.

Eyewitness Auschwitz is an exceptionally graphic, in-depth and carefully recounted description of Filip Muller’s improbable three-year survival in the Gas Chambers of Auschwitz, one of the most infamous Nazi Extermination Camps”BCM

Filip Muller was born in Sere
...more
Rose
May 19, 2012 Rose rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you are going to read one holocaust book it should either be this or Night.


"Suddenly a voice began to sing. Others joined in, and the sound swelled into a mighty choir. They sang firs the Czechoslovak national anthem and then the Hebrew song 'Hatikvah'. And all this time the SS men never stopped their brutal beatings. It was as if they regarded the singing as a last kind of protest which they were determined to stifle if they could To be allowed to die together was the only comfort left to th
...more
J. Dolan
Dec 05, 2016 J. Dolan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-holocaust
Poorly written, but that doesn't detract in the least from the book's monumental importance. Mueller isn't a writer, he's an eyewitness (see title). And as his subtitle makes clear, an especially prized one. Seventeen when he was drafted into the Sonderkommando, the Special Squad, those most unfortunate of Jews forced to work the crematoria, he somehow survived it to the age of twenty and the Russian liberation of the camp. In other words, he saw it all, the nuts and bolts of the Holocaust up ...more
Gaynor Dunkley
Apr 19, 2014 Gaynor Dunkley rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Having just returned from a trip to Auschwitz this book was an interesting read but I am thankful not to have read it before I went.

Muller' s account , like Dr Nyiszlis eyewitness account of the atrocities that were enacted in this place are graphic, horrific and traumatic. All the more so now that I can actually visualise the physicality of the Camp.

Not sure I would recommend unless you have a specifuc interest in the subject matter as it does not make pleasant reading. However as a historica
...more
Teri
Aug 31, 2008 Teri rated it liked it
I read this after visiting Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. I wanted more real-life accounts of the Holocaust atrocities. I was stuck in the horror with a broken heart of the reality of this part in our world's history.

Three stars because it feels wrong give a higher rating to a story that exists only because of the devastation caused by Hitler's insane evil.

But these kinds of books should be read and digested so that history does not repeat itself. Many of us live a charmed life in sa
...more
Karyl
I can't exactly say I liked this book, but I think it's a very important one. It is a testament to how difficult this book is to read, that it took me twelve days to read it, when it is barely 180 pages with appendices. But it's nearly impossible to take in the horror that Müller had to live through day after day for three years while working in the gas chambers and crematoria of Auschwitz. It is absolutely staggering that while Müller was forced to witness and to participate in the murder and ...more
Leslie
I don't know if you could score this as "loved it" when it is essentially an incredibly detailed, graphic and alarming account of Muller's experience working in the gas chambers and mass graves at Auschwitz over 3 years. It was powerful and, by the time the book is over, there is nothing left to the imagination. I had to read it in small chunks as it is incredibly intense and sometimes had to remind myself that this actually happened.

If you read holocaust literature and are looking for more of
...more
Sandra Mccormick
Dec 17, 2015 Sandra Mccormick rated it it was amazing
This book described the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in a detailed manner. Killings hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children was told. It is indescribable that so many could be killed without quicker help from the rest of the world. Filip Muller lived thru this and described his experiences thoroughly. At first I wondered how he could remember the events so clearly. Once I had finished the book, I understood. This book is horrifying. It took several readings to ...more
Dairon Mooren
Jul 14, 2013 Dairon Mooren rated it it was amazing
My school didn't want me to read this but they should have everyone read it I have read many books on the holocaust and I am going to Germany to those camps. However this is the best book to read if you want to learn about Auschwitz along with night. Muller took me into Auschwitz I felt the flames. The depressing facts that he mentioned of watching people get gassed was nerve racking. I was literally at the edge of my chair. Every free time I had I read this book even if I wasn't supposed to be ...more
Julia Coombes
Feb 10, 2016 Julia Coombes rated it it was amazing
Compelling and Shocking - An astonishing testimony of the horrors of Nazi crimes in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Flip Muller was one of the few survivors of the Sonder Kommando who were made to deal with the disposal of corpses of (mostly jews) murdered in the gas chambers. The author shares details of daily life and how he managed to survive despite at one point attempting to commit suicide himself by entering a gas chamber. He was later able to write this testimony and to inform the world ...more
destiney sunshine
I felt that this book was too matter of fact and lacked "depth". So much of the writing was spent of the details (with measurements) of the building of the crematoriums and the number of people killed each day and not so much on the feelings of Filipe or any of his other companions or even of the people being killed even though he and others did have chances to speak with a few of them. He rarely (if at all) mentioned himself in any emotional description or his family. I was looking to read an ...more
A.J. Griffiths-Jones
Jan 07, 2016 A.J. Griffiths-Jones rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina Sesok
I read this book in preparation for an upcoming trip to Auschwitz. I found this book to be eye opening, graphic and made me uncomfortable to read at times, but, then again, that is the purpose of the book. Filip Muller provides a straight forward and graphic account of his time working in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. He's matter of fact and blunt. Only twice does he mention his family, both times when he finds out about the death of a family member. It was different from all other Holocaust ...more
Carrie
Jan 25, 2010 Carrie rated it liked it
Pretty intense narrative of the inner-workings at Auschwitz. Not an easy book to ready by any means, but definitely an important one. The writing iteself has a tendency to jump around, and not a whole lot of attention was paid to grammatical correctness, but the story the author is telling still comes through loud and clear. If you have an interest in Holocaust history, you might consider giving this book a glance.
Nyie Rombeng
sindiran halus untuk para saksi mata yang jujur maupun yang bohong ini mendalam sekali filosofinya.aku pun sampai heran&kagum.
sepertinya para eye witness mempunyai beban moral tersendiri dalam melihat peristiwa yang disaksikannya.
status"acak&tiba-tiba dalam memilih namun mulia"ini tidak sembarangan orang dapat melaluinya,hanya merekalah yang mempunyai hati nurani kuat yang dapat mengungkapkan kebenaran yang dilihatnya:)
Wendy
Nov 21, 2014 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The atrocities recalled in this memoir are unbearable to read in one setting; one must gradually digest the text. However, it remains an important piece of work, which should be read by everyone, not only to remember our collective past, but to understand that evil does exist and that we must remain vigilant against it.
Jen
Apr 22, 2014 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holocaust
This is the one that must be read by everyone. Of all the holocaust books I have read and films I have seen, this has got to be the harshest to get through. I had to stop every 3-4 pages to be able to breath. The depravity witnessed and recounted by Filip is without parallel and I for one will never forget.
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Filip Müller (born 1922, Sered, Czechoslovakia) was one of very few Sonderkommandos to have survived Auschwitz, the largest Nazi German extermination camp. He witnessed the exterminations and gassings of millions of Jews and lived to write one of the key documents of the Holocaust. Published in 1979, Müller's Eyewitness Auschwitz - Three Years in the Gas Chambers was his first-hand account of the ...more
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