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
I will likely listen to this again. I think the seriousness in the voice of the narrator really underscores the gravity of what's happening throughout. A few have complained about the monotone voice but I think it was necessary for it to sound serious and not playful or overly dramatic. This stuff actually happened after all.
Hmm. I'm not sure what to compare this too. It's probably the most detailed book about Auschwitz that I've ever read.
I don't want to say. Because it's a very dark, depressing part of the book and I don't want to ruin it for potential readers.
It was upsetting. I mean you hear about things that happened during this time in history, but to hear a first hand account of what was going on in this camp is so depressing.
Read this book. Everyone on the planet should read this. It's so hard to believe that evil like this existed less than 100 years ago. Very detailed and very well written and read.
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.
it's a great idea and part of history that MUST be told but listening to it was to difficult. it was harder than listening to a college professor teach quantum physics. I WANTED to finish it. I got to chapter 10 but despite the historical importance, it was written and narrated too boring.
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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.
Absolutely riveting. Could not stop listening. I learned a lot about the Holocaust that I did not know. Narration was excellent as well.
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
Only history through words now, but I actually felt hurt and bruised from the reality of this well told book.
"business as usual? That's what the introduction says"
This is probably the most comprehensive account of the goings-on in a death camp, any death camp I have ever read and in particular the cremation chambers and gas chambers as well. It ought to have been a harrowing experience and for those taking part it undoubtedly was but it seems that, once again only those with opportunities and guile ever survived. selfishness or heroism? Who knows. One thing is certain. You had to be there to really experience what it was like and so I would recommend all future readers to ignore the introduction which does not do the book justice. Beyond that the distance makes the book easier to read because we weren't there and heaven forbid that we ever find ourselves in a similar situation because in the present day as then it's debatable how many of us would survive.
"I'm sure the story is superb, but the narrator..."
I was looking forward to this book. I thought it would be fascinating to get an insider account of the holocaust. This book fulfils most of those hopes I'm sure but sadly I shall never know.
The narrator's voice is so dull I had to give up 1 hour in. It is devoid of any emotion or emphasis, just flat and dreary. I tried to live it up by setting the play speed to 1.5x and this improved things slightly.
But in the end it was so soporific I just had to quit. I'm just going to read this book instead and move on to another audiobook.
"Everyone should read"
Brings home scale and horror of what went on, before being too critical of Israel listen to this to understand context.
I needed this research otherwise I could not have listened . Well written and remembered I thought. Left questions though hm
"real story not fiction"
Sad but educating, enlightening, horrifying at times would recommend to anyone interested in this subject.
"A Harrowing story"
Horrific and gripping story of one mans life in living the life of the condemned. Horrible in the callousness of man. What this person has done and seen is beyond words.
This is a difficult account to read, but eye opening and interesting, if shocking. I enjoyed it, I was very moved by it, and all the events described by the author, in minute detail. I'm always interested in documentaries and people's accounts of things and events that have happened in the world, this is well written and the narrator has been chosen well for this account too
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