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Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers

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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  2,544 ratings  ·  61 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 priso ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published August 24th 1999 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published January 1st 1979)
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Community Reviews

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Red Haircrow
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
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
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Kat
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
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
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Grace
May 20, 2009 Grace rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Claudia Moscovici
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
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Cheri
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
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
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.
Gaynor Dunkley
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
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 me ...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 c ...more
Rose
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
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
Cindy
While I can't say I "enjoyed" this book, it was gripping all the same. Heartbreaking stories of loss and love, strength and defeat, Muller puts you next to him at the chambers, reminding us of the unimaginable atrocities committed by humans upon other humans. While he survived his ordeal, he, and his readers, are forever changed.
Teri
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
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
Silent0042
Muller really did not wish to write a memoir surrounding his time at Auschwitz, once he left the camp he was prepared to leave that world behind him. I am so very glad that he changed his mind.

This is perhaps the most encompassing of all books written by Auschwitz survivors. Muller managed to survive far longer than most in the horrendous place. The reason for his survival was the knowledge of the secrets of what was really going on in the showers, something he became intimately connected with.

T
...more
Ann-maree Beazley
Powerful, hard read but worth it. Had to put it down and come back when it got really dark. Everyone should read, least we forget.
Shirley
Unable to rate as it was an horrific account, but necessary to learn about if one didn't live through the 2nd World War.
Dairon Mooren
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
Timothyemmalee
Horrifying. Needed.
Carrie
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:)
Ray
This is the memoire of one of the few surviving members of the Sondercommando from Auchwitz. The Sondercommando were the workers who did the dirty work in the industrialised death factories. The book tells in distressing detail how the camps worked and the inhumane "work" that the author was forced to carry out. It is an important historical record of terrible times.
Miranda
I read as much as I could, but it was so terrifying that I couldn't finish it. This is one of the most powerful memoirs of the Holocaust that I've read. It's so important to read this, even if you only read a section of it.
Robin
Heartbreaking. Difficult to read too much at one because of the details provided in this eyewitness account.
Wendy
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.
Tee Bivens
Very hard to read...so emotionally draining that I had to break it up into many sessions. Probably the most important book I have ever read - truly showed me the capacity for evil we possess as humans... This book will remain a part of me forever. A must-read for anyone READY for a first-hand accounting of the holocaust...
Jen
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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