Thank god that occasionally books of the stature of Laurence Rees s superb Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution are published that try to redress the balance. fascinating. Andrew Roberts, Evening Standard In his highly acclaimed bestseller 'Auschwitz', author and broadcaster Laurence Rees... read more tells the definitive history of the most notorious Nazi institution of them all. we discover how Auschwitz evolved from a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners into the site of the largest mass murder in history - part death camp, part concentration camp, where around a million Jews were killed. Rees uses Auschwitz as a window through which to examine the Holocaust in its broader context. He argues that, far from being an aberration, the camp was a uniquely important institution in the Nazi state, one that played a vital role in the 'Final Solution'. 'Auschwitz' examines the mentality and motivations of the key Nazi decision makers, and perpetrators of appalling crimes speak here for the first time about their actions. Fascinating and disturbing facts have been uncovered - from the operation of a brothel to the corruption that was rife throughout the camp.
The book draws on intriguing new documentary material from recently opened Russian archives, which will challenge many previously accepted arguments. Auschwitz lay at the hub of a complex system of extermination that spread throughout Nazi Europe. Rees addresses uncomfortable questions, such as why so few countries under Nazi occupation protected their Jews and why the Allies did little directly to prevent the killing even after they knew about the existence of the camp. This is a story of murder, brutality, courage, escape and survival, and a powerful account of how a human tragedy of such immense scale could have happened.