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Editorial Reviews

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.

Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A mixed bag

Any additional comments?

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dennis
  • Arlington, VT, United States
  • 05-07-14

Just wow.

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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book. Very dark.

Would you listen to Auschwitz again? Why?

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.

What other book might you compare Auschwitz to and why?

Hmm. I'm not sure what to compare this too. It's probably the most detailed book about Auschwitz that I've ever read.

Which scene was your favorite?

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.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Most difficult book I've ever read...

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Noah Michael Levine?

He was far too manly and brash to read this book...

Do you think Auschwitz needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes. It ends too abruptly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Bad Narration

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.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

couldn't get through it

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting.

Astonishingly candid details of such monstrosities. An epic personal account of humanities inhumanity to man.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

An Emotional Story

This was an emotional memoir read by a narrator with little or no emotion. The horrors of the last few months of WWII are chronicled by a doctor who was a prisoner in Auschwitz during that time. He was forced to perform autopsies on Mengele's horrific experiments.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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We Must Never Forget

The eyewitness account of the doctor/ author is more than horrifying, yet it should be read or listened to.
This book, as well as all of the eyewitness accounts from the survivors of this indescribable “nightmare while awake” should be read or listened to.
Only then can we know only in a small degree what the Jewish people and others suffered under a monstrous and pure evil dictator and his regime.
Then, tell others what you have read - and never forget that this happened in the 20th century and could, God forbid, happen again if we passively allow absolute power into the hands of just a few with an agenda.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

UNBELIEVABLE STORY

Scary, sad, May it NEVER happen again!!! It's a story like no other. Written by someone who I am pretty sure did NOT want to write it much less think back on it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-19-18

disappointing

Delivered in a detached robotic American tone it was difficult to connect with the characters events

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie Artist
  • 08-10-14

review

What made the experience of listening to Auschwitz the most enjoyable?

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

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Ferguson
  • 09-27-18

The brutally true story how could they do it

Greatly narrative of the innocent against the satanic evil percecuters even hell has no place for these barberians

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • m
  • 05-15-18

Chilling

Detailed first hand account of the horrors and debauched psychology of the infamous Nazi doctor with chilling accounts of the pseudo-science behind his research.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Gayle
  • 03-13-18

Harrowing

A great insight from a personal perspective to events that has scared the world !

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Street
  • 03-01-18

Different slant

What did you like most about Auschwitz?

This book told the horrific story in a completely unique way, it's not within my usual choice of genre but I'm glad I took the chance to listen. Compelling but sad story.

What about Noah Michael Levine’s performance did you like?

It sounds daft but he was totally believable -

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kris
  • 02-21-18

An important book

This is a harrowing and occasionally uncomfortable listen. It’s brutal in its intensity and pulls no punches about the horror of Auschwitz.
There is no doubt, however, that this recounting of events must be heard and shared for a full understanding of the events of WW2.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas R.
  • 04-13-17

What an incredible story!

This was a very moving, interesting and eye opening account of a strong willed man who defied death of many occasions. It is was very interesting from a historical perspective, with the later chapters and the descriptions of his personal mental psychology and those of the SS was interesting to hear and showed the potential regret and psychological effects that even the SS experienced from the inhumane actions at Auschwitz. How he managed to survive everything he went through is amazing and he is very lucky to be alive to have written this book. The fact that he not only survived but was reunited with his family who he had saved from the gas chambers was fantastic. If accurate, this truly is one of the most incredible stories ever told.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 04-05-17

Beyond belief!

I was gripped with this ebook. I spent most of it shaking my head in disbelief at the horrors of the past! Loved the narrator's voice. Unputdownable!!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Graham
  • 02-07-17

Stomach turning stuff.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, but only if they, like me were to visit Auschwitz and had an interest.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Absolutely none.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, though the introduction pieces were a waste of listening time.

Was Auschwitz worth the listening time?

yes, apart from the introductions.

Any additional comments?

No