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.
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.
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