Sunday, March 6, 2011
I read this alongside The Moonstone, switching back and forth. I usually do not read more than one book at a time but I needed to read something light and pleasant in between the harsh, cold reality of Auschwitz: A New History.
That being said, it was a fairly easy read. It was not dense or mind-numbing. The book's purpose was not to list fact after fact after fact. There were a lot of personalized anecdotes from victims, perpetrators, bystanders, etc., which really enhanced the author's presentation of Auschwitz's history and evolution.
I learned so many interesting things about Auschwitz that I had never known before. I even learned something about the Nazis' strategy and how a lot of what they did was not so much premeditated as it was situational/circumstantial. There was always an ideological foundation of hatred but they did not rush into a policy of systematic extermination until the problem of what to do with all of the deportees presented itself.
Another interesting but sad part of the book is that a lot of the perpetrators questioned felt no remorse whatsoever and stand by "the cause" that they fought for. It was fascinating to read their perspectives of the experience even if they were completely repugnant and irrational.
For a non-fiction book, it was a manageable 300 pages. I would definitely recommend it to history buffs or anyone interested in learning more about the Holocaust and labor/concentration/death camp system.
Posted by Denise at 9:51 PM