Al Swanson's Reviews > Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account

Auschwitz by Miklós Nyiszli
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's review
Dec 28, 11

bookshelves: history
Read in November, 2011

While I'm no stranger to either books about war or about WWII in particular, this was a tough read. I've read my share (and more than likely yours, too) of books about the 'jewish question', as well. From 'The Nazi Doctors' to 'Survival at Auschwitz', I've read a few. Still, this one was written, not just by an eyewitness, but by a jewish doctor working for Mengele - the Angel of Death.

Still, this could be a book that just tells a tale. Except that somehow, the doctor also becomes a writer. His unique position as Mengele's right-hand man, performing autopsies on twins and hunchbacks and just about every other imaginable subset of humanity puts him deeper than just a camp guard or even an inmate - which he was also. From the beginning, the unofficial policy for his position meant he knew he was limited to no more than four months of employment. And retirement meant a firing squad. So his point of view is a combination of professional, inmate and doomed man, all at the same time.

One of the very, very few books ever to give me nightmares and one of only two or three to do that as an adult.

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Alison I have to admit this book is possibly the only one to give me nightmares too. I found the part about the young girl who survived the gas chamber and what follows, to be very disturbing. A very informative and important read.

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