Megan Marie's Reviews > Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account

Auschwitz by Miklós Nyiszli
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Feb 20, 11

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Read from February 19 to 20, 2011

Generally, I dislike non-fiction. Which sounds insane when you think that my major in college is history, but there it is all the same. I tend to avoid reading non-fiction unless I have to for school, which is how the reading of this book around. I am currently enrolled in a World War II class and for our mid-term exam we are to write a paper over a book on some aspect of the war and how it has changed our understanding of the subject.
Now I have read quite a lot about the Holocaust and have even attended various speeches and lectures given by survivors or experts in the field. I fully believe that we children of the future have to preserve the past for future generations so that nothing is forgotten. I thought I had heard all of the worst things about this period in history, but I was sadly mistaken. This book is told by, Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, a Jewish prisoner of the extermination camp Auschwitz. He is given the position of Dr. Mengele's personal pathologist. He has to do all the autopsy that he is asked to do and also take care of the ill in all of the barracks.
He explains all the horrifying things that he is required to do in this place and the toll that it takes on him as well as the three asisstants he is given. He really opens your eyes as to how much fear everyone in this camp had and how most if not all of the people that were sent Auschwitz ended up "liquidated".
At some points in the story I felt like I had to be reading fiction because there is no way that one group of people could do this to another without the opressed group fighting back. Nyiszli even mentions how he can't figure out why none of them fight back. They just resign themselves to their fate and stand in line waiting their turn to be shot, gassed, or beat to death. There were so many of them that had they all gotten together and staged a revolt at some point I don't think the SS guards could have put down the revolt.
I don't believe I've ever felt such pure unabashed hatred for someone than I felt about Mengele and Hitler while reading this book. I mean I've always had an intense dislike for them, who hasn't, but this book really clinched it for me. I feel like everyone everywhere should have to read this book. How can people believe that the Holocaust was made up when they read something like this. I don't think anyone could really make something like this up.
I think that if there is a God that he gave Dr. Nyiszli divine asisstance because there were so many times that he should have been killed but he kept slipping by. I think he was meant to live so that he could tell his story about what really ocurred in Auschwitz when everyone else from his camp had either died or been killed.
I seriously recommend going out and getting a copy of this book. It is a first hand account of what happened in one of the most reviled places man ever created. I hope you all find it as important and as moving as I have.
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