Narrator Noah Michael Levine's expressive performance shades in different layers of emotion as he narrates the true story of Jewish prisoner Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, who was spared death and chosen by Dr. Josef Mengele himself to assist in the Nazi doctor's terrible experiments. Levine sensitively evokes both the horror and desire for survival that permeates Dr. Nyiszli's stories of serving as Mengele's personal research pathologist and as the physician to the Sonderkommando, the Jewish prisoners who worked in the crematoriums and were routinely executed every four months. Listeners will find themselves moved by Dr. Nyiszli's moral agony over his role as Mengele's assistant and his ambition to stay alive in order to reveal the truth about Auschwitz.
Auschwitz was one of the first books to bring the full horror of the Nazi death camps to the American public; this is, as the New York Review of Books said, "the best brief account of the Auschwitz experience available."
When the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944, they sent virtually the entire Jewish population to Auschwitz. A Jew and a medical doctor, the prisoner Dr. Miklos Nyiszli was spared death for a grimmer fate: to perform "scientific research" on his fellow inmates under the supervision of the man who became known as the infamous "Angel of Death" - Dr. Josef Mengele. Nyiszli was named Mengele's personal research pathologist. In that capacity he also served as physician to the Sonderkommando, the Jewish prisoners who worked exclusively in the crematoriums and were routinely executed after four months. Miraculously, Nyiszli survived to give this horrifying and sobering account.
©1960, 2011 Miklos Nyiszli (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
This was not a bad book. It read more like a journal than a story. It is simply about one man's experience in a Nazi camp. He witnessed some terrible things while in Auchwitz, and this is a detailed account. This book is not for the squeamish. The doctor is a forensic pathologist who was forced to do autopsies on people who were put to death in Auchwitz. He himself took no part in the killings. Some reviews have referred to him as a war criminal, but honestly, the man had a choice of dying in the gas chambers or working under Mengele doing autopsies on prisoners that were already DOA. The author choose the latter path, and was in constant fear for his life the whole time he was under captivity. Through a series of bribes, he was able to move about the camps more freely than others, but I do not see this as a point of pride for him, especially when you realize what his purpose for moving about the camp was. The book shows what a monster Mengele was and explains his demented ideas that led to the autopsies. This book is a grim reminder of the evil that exists in the world. We owe it to the fallen to hear these stories and remember them. One point of note: I was appalled at the prologue, which, if I understood it correctly, suggested that the plight of the Jews was, in part, brought upon them by their own doing. It was suggested that they were to blame in part for the atrocities that occurred due to their compliance and passivity. This was a different era, and a different people. Naive as they may or may not have been, you do what you are told when a gun is pointed at you. I was very displeased with the opening, and I think it did the book as a whole an grave injustice. As a matter of fact, it was insulting. Narration was average.
I have searched for books that tell about how things were inside the camps, and I have searched for books about the experiments, and the gas chambers.
While most books skirt around those topics - this one hits the full horror head on. First rate account
There was one chapter on cryptography and I found it fascinating...
He was far too manly and brash to read this book...
Yes. It ends too abruptly.
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It’s hard to criticize the content of someone’s personal recollections of what they experienced in harrowing times. It's interesting, I'm interested.
I think these things are important to learn about and remember. In some itsy bitsy way it’s giving meaning to their lives.
The narration of this audiobook however was so poor that sadly it’s about all I am taking away from it. Monotone, staccato, no emotion, unvarying in pitch, no intonation, mechanical… such a shame; it ruined the book for me.
I learned details i hadn't read in any of the dozens of World War II related books. Bad things, but details that should not be forgotten. To forget such things is to forget the people who suffered, and that's not right.
I think of the victims more than any single character. They ultimately suffered the most, and paid the highest price.
Damned if you do; damned if you don't.
Some reviews stated the narration is poor. I disagree completely. The story itself is so absorbing, nitpicking over the narration seems petty.
I regret waiting to get this book. The author tells his story in way that is on its own level. The fact he sees his wife and daughter in the end, after what they all went through, is incredible.
Definitely one of the longest forwards I've ever experienced. It was intriguing but not really what I was expecting in the beginning of a book about Auschwitz.
No because I couldn't stand the one note narrator
Yes. I think the book is probably very good just couldn't get past the narrator so I coulndt listen to much of it
An Active Participant.
As good as you would expect, for such a hellish book, but a lack of empathy.
Yes, but not because it was good.
Have you ever robbed a grave? This is a book that might be a best seller in the "Skinhead World", but if you have never experienced the underbelly of the Devil himself, stay away from this book, as it will make you ill, and if it does not, then you might need help.
Married mother of three teenagers, back to work after 15 years at home - when I read a lot. Now I am the assistant to the Mayor of Omaha and work at least 60 hours a week, and on top of what I have to do at home - no more books. This lets me listen to the classics, the latest, whatever I want. I can learn or escape. I have always love audio books, but now I NEED them.
This has no new information for anyone who is even slightly aware of what happened in most of the concentration camps during the second world war. What made this so awful was the arrogant, self-important voice of this "doctor". The introduction is given by someone who has no respect for the author of this story, and - in fact - insulted all Jews for going so willingly into the gas chambers. I would have stopped listening if he had been the author, because he was so insulting. However, the one point the introduction makes that I agree with is that this man was no "doctor". He had medical knowledge, but used it solely for his own good and destroyed any notion of his oath. I acknowledge he was attempting to save his own life, but even though he KNEW he would die anyway, he helped the Nazi machine at the cost of suffering and death of fellow human beings, and that is unforgivable. The fact that he made himself so valuable that Mengele refers to him as "my friend", and that he survived to write this book proved to me that he purchased his life with those of thousands of others. Worse yet, he goes back an forth between saying he is horrified by what he must do for Mengele, but then using the power of the death doctor's name within the camp to make himself more important. Guards fear him, and he likes that; he is given freedom to roam around, find and care for his wife and child, and even to have them shipped out when he finds out that their area is to be "liquidated". He uses the power of his help-mate status to help himself more than any other. At the same time, he enjoys his "real clothes", his good food, access to medicine, sanitary conditions and cigarettes; then he weeps at the lost comrades, is sickened at being forced to dissect humans for what he acknowledges is only "pseudo-science". I was less sickened by the Nazi atrocities - for those I was already quite enlightened of, and more horrified by this "survivor" who should have been on trial, not given a book deal.
This was an incredibly difficult book to listen to, but compelling at the same time. I have only ever studied WWII history at school, but I guess I wanted to understand more about the Nazi plan for superiority and the lessons we can all learn to avoid anything like this happening again
This was written from a first hand experience. I felt as though the witness was somewhat detached from the atrocities. It is hard to judge someone else when they have been through such an experience. I guess we all have an idea of what we do, how we would cope, but the reality is no one knows until they have been there.
There were various instances in the book when an individual was described. I found it particularly hard to imagine what despair and trauma these people would have experienced in their final hours.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly humans can justify cruelty, because I am sure the German officers were not born bad, but were made bad by twisted logic. It also serves as a lesson to all of us to never forget and learn from past atrocities. How this could ever be denied beggars belief.
Met all expectations, a very good true story, you could understand everything thing that was said, but I must say it was very sad
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