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Authour: Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen, and Volker Riess
Publisher: Konekcy & Konecky
Stars: 4.5 (out of 5)
I picked this book up at a small second hand bookstore in Nova Scotia this summer as it was the only one that caught my attention. I found myself reading it well into the night.
This book is on the Holocaust as seen by the German Soldiers, Camp guards, administrators and civilians etc.
This book is in 2 parts. Each part has a small amount of chapters that are then broken in sub-sections. Part one (1) is on the Einsatzgruppen (EK) units and Part two (2) is on the Concentration Camps. Each chapter goes into what the German soldiers saw and or participated in. The descriptions are very brief but also detailed.
The EK units talk about how they initially tried to start local pogroms and let the locals do the killings. The soldiers talk about how easy it was to get the locals in on the killings while no one said a thing to stop them. The EK units also talk about the mass killings in forests, sand pits, or anywhere out of sight though everyone knew they were happening. Even turning the massacres into shows of entertainment for the troops. The sub-sections that are about Babi Yar are very "matter of fact" or "this is the job I have to do". This all happened in Eastern Europe and Russia.
The Concentration Camp Part talks about how the soldiers were more concerned with their leave, girlfriends and anything else other than what was happening in the camps. There are descriptions of executions by rifle and also what happened to the people selected for the Gas Chambers.
There are also some sub sections about what happened to some of the Key figures in these actions. The last chapter talks about these key figures and where they ended up and what their fate was.
There is a small amount of photos liberally spread through out the book though most have been seen in other publications.
The only part of the book that I did not like, was that when it described a certain action, it went on to give 3 or 4 eye witness acounts of the same one.....basically they all saw the same thing though at a different angle.
In a nut shell the book goes on to say that the vast majority of Germans knew what was happening to Jews. They might not know of the Concentration Camps or how they were being herded and murdered but they knew it was happening and no one did a thing to stop it.
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